Fans has been too quick to write Mason Rudolph off. Here’s why he genuinely deserves another shot to start for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022.
I’ve been writing for Steelers sites for over ten years and in that time the majority of my articles have dealt with personnel and evaluating talent. When Ben Roethlisberger was doing his Brett Favre-inspired, ‘I think I’m going to retire. Oh, no I’m not’ routine I started looking at quarterbacks. The main draft class I scouted was a highly touted one, including Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Mason Rudolph.
I started scouting Rudolph in his junior year and I’ve watched more game film on him than any other prospect. Out of all those more lauded QBs I wanted the Steelers to draft Rudolph. So, when the Steelers drafted Rudolph in the 3rd Round of the 2018 NFL Draft I was very happy. I thought the team had found their successor for Big Ben.
I still think that, even though it seems the Steelers brass does not. From the get-go, they haven’t treated Rudolph like a prospect to be groomed for ascension. They’ve treated him as an afterthought, given him next to no public support, and thrown him to the wolves on more than one occasion.
Recipe for destroying a quarterback prospect
First shove your young quarterback prospect into the starting lineup for an injured, future Hall of Fame quarterback who has been starting for over a decade and a half. Make sure that same quarterback goes out of his way to make the new prospect feel unwelcome even though said QB has been teasing retirement for a few years. Have the prospect compete with a plucky little upstart with a cute nickname who’s waiting in the wings.
Surround him with a fan base eager to see said upstart. Make sure that fan base has all but forgotten what it takes to develop a quarterback prospect. Give him a 29th-ranked running game and a wide receiver corps who are 4th in dropped passes. Make sure most of those drops come early when the team is trying to establish its game plan.
Then, have an offensive line who are on their last legs tasked to protect him. Give him NO quarterback coach and an offensive coordinator who is clearly in over his head. Have a biased media show his worst plays in ‘highlights’ but virtually none of his good plays.
Then punctuate it with the worst and most brutal, after-the-whistle, on-field assault in the history of any sporting event. Top it off with him being falsely accused of being a racist by the lying thug who assaulted him. That should be enough to destroy any QB prospect, don’t you think?
All that and more has been thrown at Mason Rudolph and he is not destroyed. To say the media has been unkind to Mason Rudolph would be an understatement. However, some sites have seen in him the seeds of success.