2018 Offseason Questions: Will Rudolph Be Available When Steelers Pick?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: Will Mason Rudolph even be available for the Steelers to draft in the first round by the time their turn comes along?

One the most frequent and contentious conversations that has been going in Pittsburgh in recent days is whether or not the Steelers should be considering drafting a quarterback as a successor to Ben Roethlisberger, who has said that he plans on playing for three or more seasons after having previously openly contemplated retirement.

The logic is sound for the nay party. The Steelers are in a prime championship window that is closing in the waning years of Roethlisberger’s career, and with star players such as Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant likely to be gone after this season, it makes sense to maximize your chances of winning in 2018, which includes taking a first-rounder that has a good chance of being a contributor this year.

There is only ever going to be one quarterback on the field at a time, so drafting one isn’t really going to come into play unless there is an injury, and it’s unclear if a rookie would even be ready to unseat Landry Jones as the backup.

I think it’s safe to assume that the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield will all be gone by the time the Steelers pick late in the first round. There is an excellent chance that three of those for are gone with the first three picks in the draft, perhaps all four in the top 10 picks.

That would mean that Rudolph would have to survive tom 10-15 picks before Pittsburgh would have the opportunity to draft him, and they are unlikely to make a move up in a year in which they don’t have the sort of draft capital to part with.

There is a lot of vigor on both sides of the discussion, but will it be a moot point in a couple weeks’ time? Will they even have a chance to make a decision on Rudolph, or even Lamar Jackson?

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