Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mason Rudolph - 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

After hitting up both of the Joshes in the first two week, it's time to move on to somebody with a different first name in Mason Rudolph. Rudolph has been incredibly proficient during his time at Oklahoma State, but the biggest questions around him involve how much credit the scheme deserves and how much his incredible receiving corps deserves. I took a look at his games against Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, and Pittsburgh.

The first thing to know is that his receiving corps really helped him out. It wasn't just that they made contested catches, it was that they got so open that it would be nearly impossible to not make a completion with these guys. Seriously, watch out for James Washington Jr. That dude has a lot of Steve Smith in his game. He's built like a spark plug and knows how to attack the ball out of the air. Rudolph did usually manage to hit his guys, but one thing I would have liked to see him improve on is leading his receivers on routes. Often times they had to slow down or even settle in a spot to make the catch instead of accelerating through to create yards after the catch.

Along those same lines, he underthrew a lot of his deep balls, and some of them were downright ugly.
This one is caused by poor footwork, and I think he did feel more pressure than was there on longer developing plays. This is why he could sometimes throw a great deep ball if he felt comfortable and stepped up to deliver while other times, his footwork and resulting pass would be a mess.

It's kind of tough to judge Rudolph since their offense is centered around underneath routes. Seriously, he makes Alex Smith look like Rex Grossman with the lack of risks he is willing to take. It's also an offense designed around pre-snap reads, so there wasn't a whole lot of reading the field when that first option wasn't open.

One thing I really like about Rudolph is that he keeps his eyes down field, even when he is feeling pressure.
He knows he's not going to impress anybody with his mobility, so he looks to avoid the rush, but then gets his eyes up to see if there is any way for him to throw the ball. He gets just enough space to throw the ball to a wide open receiver in the end zone.

Unfortunately, he also makes a lot of bad decisions in the red zone.
When the field shrinks, Rudolph gets way too much confidence in his arm, and his receivers do not have the room to get wide open with less real estate to work with. The ball above is totally inexcusable as there is literally no way for him to complete that pass as they have two defenders on the receiver, yet Rudolph feels pressure and throws the ball anyway.

As you can probably tell, I wasn't overly impressed with Rudolph. I feel like the above evidence is a more negative picture than actually should be there, but it's pretty boring to just remark about different traits and calling them fine. He showed flashes of good pocket awareness, but he doesn't read the field well, and I think he's going to have to work on his anticipation as the windows get a whole lot tighter in the NFL. In a perfect world, he could turn into Nick Foles. But we're not dealing in a perfect world, and I really don't see anything more than a backup at the next level.

2018 Scouting Reports
Josh Rosen - Quarterback - UCLA

Josh Allen - Quarterback - Wyoming

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