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Interesting move but not liking the player

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BAL.png21. Baltimore Ravens (via mock trade)

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. After sliding back to add an extra third-round pick, the Ravens are happy to draft Joe Flacco's heir apparent in Rudolph, a big pocket passer who'll enter the NFL with loads of collegiate experience.


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Upside: Ideal QB frame — big, well-proportioned and athletic. Stands tall and sees lanes open. Moves well in pocket while keeping eyes downfield and going through reads. Sacks were down (from one taken every 13.9 pass attempts his first three seasons combined to every 21.3 attempts his final year). Feels the rush and uses footwork to help him step up and slide against pressure. Accuracy on passes under pressure was impressive — Rudolph invites the blitz, dares you to come after him and routinely beats it with quick, precise throws.

Improved accuracy downfield. Always looking for the big strike. Throws a nice deep ball with touch and placement — puts balls in a place where his receivers have a better chance to get it than the defender. Better touch and accuracy outside the hashmarks as his career went on. Also can fit it in down the seam in tighter slots. Not elite arm strength by any means, but plenty of juice to get the ball where it needs to go. Watch him hold the Oklahoma safety with his eyes, wait for the post route to uncover and deliver a perfect strike downfield:

Respected, confident leader. Not afraid of big stages and big moments. Has a take-charge temperament. More often than not did what team needed him to do to win games. Good red-zone runner and goal-line sneaker — 15 rushing TDs in final 19 college games, all from 16 yards and in.

Downside: Small hands — has averaged just under a fumble every two games in college. Good enough athlete but won’t be a plus scrambler in the NFL. Running ability might be limited to QB sneaks and select spots. Operated almost exclusively from shotgun and pistol formations. Steeped in an “Air Raid” system whose quarterbacks have had, at best, mixed results in the NFL. Often threw to his first read and didn’t have to go as deep through progressions.

Aided by quality receivers — long-armed WRs Marcell Ateman and James Washington won a lot of 50-50 balls. Racked up numbers against a lot of poor Big 12 defenses. A lot of production came off play action. Wasn’t asked to roll out and throw on the move as much as some other quarterbacks (this can be viewed differently, depending on the evaluator).

Needs to speed up some quick throws. Will double clutch on some passes. Can still do a better job of leading his receivers — left some potential YAC on the field at times. Got away with some passes and trusts his receivers too much at times. Watch as he forces the ball into bracket coverage and nearly is picked against Texas:

Best-suited destination: Ideally, Rudolph would land with a team where there’s a veteran quarterback already in place but in line to be replaced in a year or two. He could thrive in a rhythm, shotgun-heavy offense once he adapts to working from center and going through progressions. Teams that could make sense for him include the Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington.

Quotable: “It’s one of those NBA offenses — lotta layups and three-pointers. They used tempo. All shotgun pretty much. Lot of first reads and screens there. I saw him get better with pressure coming at him. He’s not ready-made by any means, but he’s got some tools to work with. I just don’t want him starting early. You need to rewire him just a little, but he’s got a good build, good experience and he talks like a leader should talk. He made no excuses when we talked to him [at the Senior Bowl] and has that cocky edge.” — AFC college scouting director

Player comp: Sam Bradford



If he slid to the 3rd I would not hesitate on him. I just think some team will do something stupid early.

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