The Pittsburgh Steelers selected former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third-round of the 2018 NFL Draft this past weekend and while I did study him quite a bit ahead of that happening, I certainly still have a lot to learn about him moving forward into the offseason.
As I did last year with quarterback Joshua Dobbs, I like to start by looking at key passing statistics from college in order to perhaps uncover areas of a passer’s game that warrant digging deeper into. With that disclaimer out of the way, I decided to first look at Rudolph’s 3rd down passing statistics from his college career and compare them not only to the other five quarterbacks who were drafted ahead of him this year, but to Dobbs and current Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones as well.
If you look below at the career college 3rd down passing stats of the eight players I used in this study, the first thing that might jump out at you is that Rudolph posted the best YPA (yards per attempt) and YPC (yards per completion) stats of the group. Additionally, Rudolph also posted the highest 3rd down NCAA quarterback rating of the eight players in this study. If that’s not enough to get you at least a little bit excited about Rudolph’s 3rd down play during his college career, he also posted the lowest interception per attempt percentage (2.1%) of the eight quarterbacks and the highest touchdown pass per attempt percentage (8.3%).
As far as Rudolph’s overall career 3rd down completion percentage at Oklahoma State, it was 56.5% and only Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold finished their college careers with higher percentages. Additionally, 42.9% of Rudolph’s total 3rd down pass attempts resulted in a successful play (1ST%A) and once again, only Mayfield and Darnold posted higher percentages than he did. However, of the 3rd down pass attempts that Rudolph did complete during his college career, 75.9% of them resulted in a successful play (1st%C) and when it comes to that particular stat, only Mayfield bested him.
So what about on 3rd downs and long, meaning 7 or more yards to go? While Rudolph’s career completion percentage of 53.6% on 3rd and long was fourth-best of the eight players listed below, his successful splay percentage per attempt was 37.4% and the was second-best behind only Mayfield’s 38.0%. Rudolph’s career NCAA passer rating of 140.9 on 3rd on longs was better than than that of Mayfield’s (137.45), however, and second-best behind only… wait for it… Jones (142.53).
Obviously, stats don’t tell the entire story when it comes to the 3rd down play of these eight quarterbacks during their college careers. The talent that surrounds the quarterback certainly plays a big role among many other things such as quality of competition faced. I am in no way trying to use these 3rd down stats to suggest that Rudolph is a far superior quarterback to the other seven used in this study but with that said, his body of work on that particular down for his entire college career certainly is impressive and even mores when you consider how many games he played in at Oklahoma State.
I’ll have more stat and tape studies of Rudolph for you in future posts but I figured this would be a great place to start with him.
All of the stats below come courtesy of cfbstats.com. If you find any errors in my calculations, please let me know in the comments right away so that I can fix them quickly. Also, please feel free to add any of your own stat observations in the comments.
|CAREER COLLEGE 3RD DOWN PASSING STATS|
|1-3 To Go||46||34||73.9%||433||9.4||12.7||6||0||196.0||28||60.9%||82.4%||9||5|
|4-6 To Go||81||44||54.3%||699||8.6||15.9||8||1||156.9||38||46.9%||86.4%||15||8|
|7-9 To Go||85||49||57.6%||673||7.9||13.7||6||1||145.1||37||43.5%||75.5%||18||5|
|10+ To Go||126||64||50.8%||1115||8.8||17.4||8||5||138.1||42||33.3%||65.6%||30||13|
|1-3 To Go||56||39||69.6%||363||6.5||9.3||3||0||141.8||36||64.3%||92.3%||6||1|
|4-6 To Go||98||66||67.3%||777||7.9||11.8||8||0||160.9||56||57.1%||84.8%||16||5|
|7-9 To Go||74||45||60.8%||767||10.4||17.0||6||3||166.5||36||48.6%||80.0%||19||9|
|10+ To Go||92||52||56.5%||710||7.7||13.7||1||5||114.1||27||29.3%||51.9%||19||6|
|1-3 To Go||28||17||60.7%||136||4.9||8.0||3||1||129.7||15||53.6%||88.2%||1||0|
|4-6 To Go||65||42||64.6%||553||8.5||13.2||3||0||151.3||33||50.8%||78.6%||12||6|
|7-9 To Go||49||26||53.1%||359||7.3||13.8||2||2||119.9||23||46.9%||88.5%||8||3|
|10+ To Go||64||38||59.4%||491||7.7||12.9||4||2||138.2||19||29.7%||50.0%||18||3|
|1-3 To Go||44||26||59.1%||413||9.4||15.9||2||1||148.4||24||54.5%||92.3%||8||5|
|4-6 To Go||90||44||48.9%||553||6.1||12.6||6||3||115.8||38||42.2%||86.4%||15||4|
|7-9 To Go||58||34||58.6%||429||7.4||12.6||2||0||132.1||20||34.5%||58.8%||12||4|
|10+ To Go||99||53||53.5%||902||9.1||17.0||2||4||128.7||32||32.3%||60.4%||28||10|
|1-3 To Go||14||10||71.4%||115||8.2||11.5||0||0||140.4||8||57.1%||80.0%||3||1|
|4-6 To Go||61||34||55.7%||349||5.7||10.3||5||2||124.3||29||47.5%||85.3%||5||2|
|7-9 To Go||52||26||50.0%||264||5.1||10.2||2||2||97.6||16||30.8%||61.5%||5||1|
|10+ To Go||53||28||52.8%||507||9.6||18.1||3||0||151.9||19||35.8%||67.9%||15||6|
|1-3 To Go||28||14||50.0%||269||9.6||19.2||1||1||135.3||14||50.0%||100.0%||7||3|
|4-6 To Go||63||38||60.3%||464||7.4||12.2||2||1||129.5||31||49.2%||81.6%||9||2|
|7-9 To Go||78||38||48.7%||527||6.8||13.9||8||4||129.1||28||35.9%||73.7%||14||4|
|10+ To Go||82||38||46.3%||608||7.4||16.0||2||3||109.4||24||29.3%||63.2%||22||3|
|1-3 To Go||33||20||60.6%||177||5.4||8.9||2||2||113.5||18||54.5%||90.0%||4||0|
|4-6 To Go||86||51||59.3%||492||5.7||9.6||5||2||121.9||37||43.0%||72.5%||10||2|
|7-9 To Go||83||37||44.6%||598||7.2||16.2||5||4||115.3||28||33.7%||75.7%||15||5|
|10+ To Go||85||37||43.5%||513||6.0||13.9||2||4||92.6||19||22.4%||51.4%||15||6|
|1-3 To Go||85||57||67.1%||603||7.1||10.6||8||2||153.0||49||57.6%||86.0%||14||3|
|4-6 To Go||135||79||58.5%||906||6.7||11.5||9||6||128.0||59||43.7%||74.7%||22||8|
|7-9 To Go||145||79||54.5%||1033||7.1||13.1||10||3||132.9||57||39.3%||72.2%||28||9|
|10+ To Go||183||94||51.4%||1649||9.0||17.5||14||2||150.1||53||29.0%||56.4%||46||17|