Mason Rudolph (American football)
Rudolph in 2017
|No. 2 – Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Born:||July 17, 1995|
Rock Hill, South Carolina
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||235 lb (107 kg)|
(Rock Hill, South Carolina)
|NFL Draft:||2018 / Round: 3 / Pick: 76|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2019|
Brett Mason Rudolph III (born July 17, 1995) is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Oklahoma State, where we was a three-year starter and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award during his last year. He was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
He spent the 2018 season as the Steelers third string quarterback, and did not see any game action in the regular season. Prior to the 2019 season, he was promoted to the main back-up to long-time starter Ben Roethlisberger. In week 2 of the 2019 season, Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending injury, and Rudolph was named the starting quarterback in his place. In a week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns, Rudolph was involved in a fight with Browns defender Myles Garrett that brought in several other players and resulted in several suspensions.
Rudolph was named after his father and grandfather; he is not related to the late PGA Tour golfer Mason Rudolph. He attended Westminster Catawba Christian School before transferring to Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina. During his career he passed for 10,986 yards and 132 passing touchdowns. Rudolph was rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit and was ranked as the ninth-best pro-style quarterback in his class. He committed to Oklahoma State University to play college football.
Rudolph entered his true freshman season in 2014 as a third string behind J. W. Walsh and Daxx Garman. After Walsh was injured, Garman became the starter with Rudolph as his backup. After Garman was injured, Rudolph started his first career game against Baylor. During the game, he completed 13 of 25 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rudolph remained the starter for the final two games, including the 2015 Cactus Bowl victory against Washington. In three games total, he completed 49 of 86 passes for 853 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions.
He was named the starter for the 2015 season in January of that year.
Rudolph attended the NFL Scouting Combine and completed the majority of combine drills, but opted to skip the bench press, broad jump, short shuttle, and three-cone drill. On March 15, 2018, he participated at Oklahoma State's pro day and completed the three-cone drill, short shuttle, broad jump, and ran passing drills. He met with scouts and team representatives from the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Los Angeles Chargers privately after completing his pro day. He attended private workout and visits with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Los Angeles Chargers. At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Rudolph was projected to be a second round pick by the majority of NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked as the sixth best quarterback prospect in the draft by DraftScout.com, Scouts Inc., and Sports Illustrated.
|Mason Rudolph's NFL Combine Workout|
|Mason Rudolph's 40-yard dash|
|Rudolph "I'm going to prepare like a starter"|
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 4 5⁄8 in
|32 3⁄8 in
|9 1⁄8 in
|4.90 s||1.71 s||2.88 s||4.56 s||28 1⁄2 in
|8 ft 11 in
|All values from NFL Draft|
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Rudolph in the third round (76th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers traded their third-round (79th overall) and seventh-round (220th overall) picks to the Seattle Seahawks in order to move up three spots and select Rudolph with the 76th overall pick. Rudolph was the sixth quarterback selected in 2018.
|Steelers draft Mason Rudolph 76th overall|
|Rudolph celebrates being picked by Steelers|
Throughout training camp, Rudolph competed against Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs for the backup spot behind Ben Roethlisberger. Head coach Mike Tomlin ultimately named Rudolph the third quarterback, as Jones was released.
During the preseason, Rudolph was named the second quarterback behind Roethlisberger, eclipsing Dobbs after multiple successful preseason performances.
During Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, Rudolph relieved an injured Roethlisberger in the second half and threw for 112 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception as the Steelers narrowly lost by a score of 28-26. Following the announcement that Roethlisberger would miss the rest of the season due to season-ending elbow surgery, Rudolph became the Steelers' starting quarterback. Rudolph made his first NFL start in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers. He threw 174 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in the 24-20 road loss. Against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week 4, Rudolph recorded his first win as a starter with 229 passing yards and two touchdowns in the 27–3 victory. On October 6, against the Baltimore Ravens in week 5, Rudolph suffered a concussion after being hit by Ravens safety Earl Thomas and was temporarily knocked unconscious, being relieved by Steelers third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges. Rudolph was cleared from concussion protocol on October 16, 2019. He returned to face the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football and had 251 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and one interception in the 27–14 victory.
During Thursday Night Football against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, with 8 seconds left in regulation, Rudolph was involved in a brawl involving several players from both teams. With just moments left in the game, Rudolph completed a pass to running back Trey Edmunds. Myles Garrett of the Browns then tackled Rudolph late, after the pass had been completed. While the two were entangled on the ground, Rudolph pulled on Garrett's helmet. Garrett then grabbed at Rudolph's helmet and removed it. When Rudolph ran after Garrett, Garrett struck Rudolph in the head with Rudolph's own helmet.  During and after this altercation, additional players came into the fray and further fighting occurred. Garrett and two other players were ejected and later suspended for the incident. Rudolph finished with 221 passing yards, a touchdown, and four interceptions as the Steelers lost 7-21. Rudolph later declined to file criminal charges, calling the situation an NFL matter. For his role in the scuffle, Rudolph was later fined $50,000 by the league.
Lost in the news about the scuffle was Rudolph's ineffectiveness in the game; he threw four interceptions. In the following week against the still-winless Cincinnati Bengals, Rudolph struggled again, throwing for 85 yards and an interception before being benched for Devlin Hodges in the third quarter who led the Steelers to a 16–10 comeback victory. Two days later, Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin announced that Hodges would remain the starting QB for the following week's game against Cleveland.
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- Pryor, Brooke (November 24, 2019). "Rudolph benched for poor play; denies using slur". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
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