It has been a bit of a Cinderella story for Mason Rudolph. Nine months ago, it seemed as if no one wanted him, and the only reason he was a favorite to make a roster was due to no other options. Since taking over for the Steelers though, he has been a perfect fit for what this offense needs.
Let me be clear, Rudolph hasn’t been elite all of a sudden. In terms of starters in the league, he hasn’t played a true top guy. That said, this offense has played well with him at the helm, and without his play, this team wouldn’t be in the playoffs. With all of that said, here are the three reasons that the Steelers should have Rudolph be the starter next year, and one reason they shouldn’t.
Rudolph’s Steelers story so far
Rudolph has had a very tough career since joining the team. The Steelers drafted him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He felt some heat instantly, as Ben Roethlisberger was vocal about not being happy using draft picks on quarterbacks, especially a year after drafting Josh Dobbs.
Rudolph settled into a backup role heading into his second year, but a season-ending injury to Roethlisberger thrust Rudolph into the starting role. The results were lackluster, as he eventually battled with Devlin Hodges for the role as both struggled to lead the team.
While not the superstar some hoped he would be, the Steelers kept Rudolph around on an extension, seemingly readying themselves for life after Roethlisberger. While not a slam dunk star, the team had some level of comfort with Rudolph, much to the chagrin of the fanbase, who had mostly turned on the former Oklahoma State quarterback at this point.
While he was the last quarterback on the roster following Roethlisberger’s retirement, the team was quick to bury him. Mitch Trubisky was signed and Kenny Pickett was drafted in the first round. While the team hyped an open competition, it was clear that Rudolph was the last option around.
I thought he would depart in the offseason, but it seemed like nobody wanted him. He returned to the Steelers on the cheapest deal possible and resumed his role as third quarterback. That was all until he got called into action and shined during his starts. With his brief history outlined, let's take a look at the first reason Rudolph should be the guy next season.