Mason Rudolph is not widely mentioned among the top quarterback prospects, but his pre-draft scheduled has been full.
The talk of quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft has centered on Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, with Lamar Jackson making it a top-five. That means the sixth guy at the position for most analysts, former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, has gone mostly under the radar.
But teams are paying attention to the fourth-most productive passer in Big 12 history with prototypical size (6-foot-5, 235 pounds). According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the New England Patriots conducted a private workout with Rudolph on Friday and the Buffalo Bills will follow bring him in for a visit this weekend.
Rudolph has been pretty busy, with visits or workouts to this point with the Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Counting the Bills (No. 12 and No. 22) and Patriots (No. 23 and No. 31), the Chargers (No. 17), Saints (No. 27), Bengals (No. 21), Giants (No. 2 and No. 34) and Steelers (No. 28) having varying needs for a quarterback. And outside of the Giants, the remaining teams who have had contact with Rudolph are unlikely to get one of the aforementioned top prospects as things sit right now.
Four of the first five picks later this month could be quarterbacks, widely projected as Darnold, Rosen, Allen and Mayfield in some order with trades possibly further altering who holds those picks. That would leave Jackson and Rudolph as the top options for any other teams looking for a quarterback, either as an eventual successor for an older veteran or a more immediate option.
Next year’s quarterback class does not look to be as good as this year’s, so even as the fifth or sixth-best guy in this year’s group Rudolph is garnering plenty of interest. Simple supply and demand could make him into a first-round pick.