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2022 Stock Watch – QB Mason Rudolph – Stock Down

Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: QB Mason Rudolph

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: The Steelers drafting Kenny Pickett was bad news for Mason Rudolph, and the further selection of Chris Oladokun could potentially even put his roster spot in jeopardy.

Now that we’ve actually gotten through all of the Steelers’ draft picks, it’s time to dig deeper and examine the implications those selections will have on the team’s roster going forward, particularly as it concerns the eventual 53-man roster.

We ought to start at the top, with the quarterback position, and with the ramifications of the Steelers drafting Kenny Pickett in the first round. This is obviously bad news for fifth-year quarterback Mason Rudolph, for multiple reasons.

The biggest one of all is the fact that the team drafted a quarterback who is highly likely to be no worse than the number two this year. It basically guarantees that Rudolph could only, at best, hope to be the number three quarterback.

And the Steelers might not want to pay $3 million in base salary to their number three quarterback. In comes their final draft pick, Chris Oladokun. If the Steelers get through the offseason process and decide that they really like what they have in Pickett and Mitch Trubisky, they’ll look at Oladokun and see if he can be their number three.

If he can, then that could be the end of the road for Rudolph. They’ll of course look to trade him, if possible, though his salary won’t do them any favors unless a team suffers an injury and they just really need somebody, but an outright release is not completely outside of the realm of possibility.

Of course, it’s also, at least theoretically, within the realm of possibility that Rudolph earns the starting job. No rookie is guaranteed to be ready to play, and let’s face it, Trubisky was already a backup last year. Nobody on their roster right now was viewed as a starter at this time a year ago, so it’s kind of open. But I wouldn’t put money down on Rudolph being the opening day starter.

Also, I’m sorry, but I’m never going to get tired of using this picture, and there’s never going to be a better time to use it than now.

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