Mason Rudolph: It’s not ‘Big Ben’s job’ to teach me; ‘It’s my job to learn’
One of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ major goals heading into the 2018 NFL Draft was to find a potential successor for future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The team pulled the trigger in the third round, selecting former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph. The Steelers traded up to land Rudolph, sending picks No. 79 and No. 220 to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the No. 76 pick.
The Steelers trade up to secure Big Ben's future successor, QB Mason Rudolph. No draft-eligible QB had more deep passing yards & TDs in 2017! pic.twitter.com/4QhJYDAH8P
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 28, 2018
The Steelers loved Rudolph after watching his pro day, not to mention his performance at Heinz Field in college versus Pitt. The Steelers reportedly stayed late at Rudolph’s pro day as well.
The Steelers also could have been feeling some pressure from their rival, the Patriots, after numerous reports suggested New England would try to take Rudolph as Brady’s heir apparent.
Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner believes Rudolph is well-prepared for the pros.
“The transition to the professional game is not going to be as big an extreme,” Fichtner said of Rudolph, via Penn Live. “He’s been exposed to a lot of the concepts and the passes and the types of things he’ll have to do. Where he’ll catch up will have to be the complexity of defenses and those types of things.”
Heading into his rookie season, Rudolph himself knows what is at stake, and will make sure he is ready to learn and not solely rely on others, especially Roethlisberger.
“It’s not Ben’s job to teach me anything,” Rudolph said. “It’s my job to learn.”
Rudolph dominated in his final college season, throwing for 4,904 yards and 37 touchdowns with a 65% completion rate.
Are we sleeping on Mason Rudolph? He was the nation's best quarterback on 3rd down this season. pic.twitter.com/lfXCbyFcEk
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) April 23, 2018
Big Ben could be retiring after the following season, so being a quick learner and adapting to the offense will be critical for Rudolph. The makeup of the Steelers’ offense is similar to what Oklahoma State did as well. Playing three receivers with a large involvement of the running backs in the passing game is what Mike Gundy did with key weapons James Washington and Justice Hill.