Steelers QB Mason Rudolph deserves a legitimate shot to start in 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2). Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2). Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 5
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Mason Rudolph’s college production vs Trubisky and Pickett

Before I launch into this I want to say I have nothing against Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. I liked Trubisky as a prospect going into the 2017 Draft. I think Kenny Pickett was a reach as a 1st Round pick but he may pan out.

I also want to say whoever wins the competition will get my full support. I’m just saying there should be an actual competition and the job shouldn’t be handed to anyone based on pressure for justifying their decisions. That being said, here goes!

Below is a comparison between Mason Rudolph, Mitch Trubisky, and Kenny Pickett’s college careers. I’ve put these on a single page so you can easily compare them. I’ve tried as best I can to make it an ‘apples to apples’ comparison.

Mason Rudolph

In 42 games Rudolph had 915 completions on 1447 attempts for a 63.2% completion rate, 13, 618 yards at 9.4 yards per attempt, 92 TDs, and 26 interceptions for a 159.7 Quarterback rating. Rudolph is a pocket passer and since sacks count against your rushing stats he had 225 ‘attempts’ for 28 yards for 0.1 yards per. However, he had 17 rushing touchdowns almost all on designed run plays. He also had 3 receptions for 53 yards at 17.7 yards per. Rudolph had 32 wins and 10 loses as a starter, winning 76.2% of his contests.

Rudolph was a three-year starter who steadily improved each season, having his best year as a senior in 2018. He posted 318 completions on 489 attempts for a 65.0% completion rate, 4904 yards at 10.0 yards per attempt, 37 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions for a 170.6 QB rating.

Mitchell Trubisky

In 31 games Trubisky threw 386 completions on 572 attempts for a 67.5 completion rate, 4762 yards at 8.3 ypa, 41 TDs, and 10 interceptions for a 157.6 QB rating. On the ground, Trubisky had 120 carries for 439 at 3.7 yards per and 8 TDs. Trubisky had 8 wins and 5 loses as a starter, winning 61.2% of his games.

Trubisky’s best season is the only season he started, 2016. That year he had 304 completions on 447 attempts for a 68.0% completion rate, 3748 yards at 8.4 YPA, 30 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions for a 157.9 QB rating.

Kenny Pickett

In 52 games Pickett had 1045 completions on 1674 attempts for a 62.4% completion rate, 12,303 yards at 7.3 YPA, 81 TDS, 32 interceptions for a 136.3 QB rating. He also rushed 416 times for 809 yards at 1.9 yards per and 20 TDs. Picket went 32-20 as a starter, winning 61.2% of his contests.

Pickett’s best season, by far, was his senior year, 2021. He had 334 completions on 497 attempts for a 67.2% completion rate, 4319 yards for 8.7 YPA, 42 TDs, and 7 interceptions for a 165.3.

Looking at the stats Rudolph’s college numbers blow Trubisky’s away. The only stat where Trubisky wins is completion percentage and rushing yardage. Even Trubisky’s standout senior year that cemented him as an early 1st Round pick is dwarfed by Rudolph’s best year.

It’s a closer contest between Rudolph and Pickett but still, Rudolph wins in almost every category. The only stats where Pickett is higher is in completion rate, his touchdown total for his senior year, and his rushing touchdown total. Still, where it matters, Rudolph isn’t far behind Pickett as a running QB having 17 career rushing TDs.

He was also considered athletic enough by his head coach to be lined up as a wide receiver. Pickett was a four-year starter but his first three were hardly stellar. In those years his highest single season touchdown total was thirteen. Half of Pickett’s career touchdown total came during his senior year, making him a one-year wonder.

Rudolph’s college pedigree is better than either of the Steelers new additions at QB. He had a much higher winning percentage as a starter than both Trubisky and Pickett. He is also the only QB on the team who wasn’t a one-year wonder.

I wasn’t going to include 2021, 7th Rd pick quarterback, Chris Oladokun,  because he has no chance, whatsoever, of having any success in the NFL. Since, technically, he is a quarterback currently on the roster, here goes. Oladokun had one good season in the final year of his five-year career playing for South Dakota St.

He had 238 completions in 382 for 62.3% completion rate for 3164 yards with 25 TDs and 7 interceptions. In the college ‘all-star’  game he was invited to, the NFLPA Bowl,  he totally tanked going 1 for 6 and throwing an interception. Like I said, no chance, whatsoever. Oladokun may stick around for a while because he’s obviously one of Tomlin’s pets, but he is a waste of a roster or practice squad spot.

Back to the subject, at hand. You’re probably thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s college. What about what  Rudolph has done in the NFL?’.  If you’re thinking that, I’m glad. Next, we’ll look at Mason Rudolph as a pro to date compared to Mitch Trubisky’s first season.