4 biggest beneficiaries if Steelers select Malik Willis
By Scott Long
1. Mason Rudolph
The potential of drafting a raw prospect at quarterback who needs time to develop and learn the offense is without a doubt the most beneficial to Mason Rudolph. If Willis is the selection it is likely he will sit at least a few weeks to learn, while Rudolph will be given the reigns to run the offense for at least the early portion of the season.
Dwayne Haskins can be listed as a beneficiary as well, as the team is likely to let Rudolph and Haskins compete in Training Camp for the spot on the depth chart. However, Rudolph’s experience in the offense and his track record with the team gives him a significant edge over Haskins to winning the interim starting quarterback job.
While it is unlikely that Rudolph is a long-term starter anywhere this deep into his career, if he plays well while starting, he could earn himself a significant raise in the offseason, either as a high-level backup or as a bridge option for another team. If someone is impressed enough by his play this season, signing as a bridge option elsewhere could be great for Rudolph as it would allow him to start, and also gain a significant pay raise from what he is currently making for Pittsburgh.
While Rudolph could start early on no matter who the Steelers draft, if a talented project like Willis is the selection, Rudolph is much more likely to get a sustained run with the starting job this upcoming season.
Clearly, Malik Willis is in play for the Steelers’ first-round pick, and while he would give the Steelers their quarterback of the future, he is not the only one who would benefit. It remains to be seen who the Steelers will select, but fans will surely keep a close eye on what the team does at the quarterback position all offseason.