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Keep, Keep, Cut: Rudolph, Trubisky, Oladokun

You’re going to build the roster.

If you’re like me you’d love the chance to be a General Manager. We all have our opinions on players throughout the draft process and throughout the season of who we would prefer to have on the team or active roster. I thought this might be a fun process to look at a group of players, give some background information on each player and see who you would keep. And yes, I understand you want to see how everyone does in training camp but try to play along.

I’ll give you three players from each position group and you decide which two you will keep (one to the active roster, one to the practice squad) and one player to cut. At the end of this process we’ll have a 53 man roster and a good portion of the practice squad built by you.

Quarterbacks

For the first time in a very long time Ben Roethlisberger will not be the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s always difficult to replace a future Hall of Famer so the spotlight will be brighter for this group. Per usual, the team has four quarterbacks in camp and there is a legitimate competition to see who will be the play caller.

The Steelers used their first round pick on University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett so he is going to make the roster. Whether he is then number one, two or three quarterback we do not know but he will make the 53.

They usually keep three on the roster so for this position the two players you keep will be on the 53 man roster. Let’s take a look at the other candidates.

Mason Rudolph

Just like last year, the mere mention of his name makes some fans angry but he is once again in the mix. He is the only quarterback on this list who was with the team last year. His results to this point have been up and down but his most recent start came against Detroit in 2021. After being inactive for his rookie season, over the past three years he has started 10 games and played in parts of 6 other games.

On the positive side, he is 5-4-1 in games he has started with a 4-1-1 record at home. Overall, he has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards. He has 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in that time. I don’t think anyone would consider him a threat to run but on five runs/scrambles last year he had 53 yards.

Best Game: Week 17 2020 At Cleveland (loss) – 22-39, 315 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack for -8 yards, 1 carry for 1 yard, 7.95 AY/A (adjusted yards gained per attempt) , QBR 89.2

On the negative side, there is still some stiffness and robotics when he drops back and the mental processing of moving through his progressions can still improve. Of his five wins, just one came against a team with a winning record and the game against Detroit last year was a tie against a winless Lion team. He has 11 interceptions and five fumbles and was also sacked 16 times in those games.

Worst Game: Week 11, 2019 At Cleveland (loss), 23 of 44, 221 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT, sacked 4 times for -43 yards, 4 carries for 4 yards, 1.39 AY/A, QBR 39.8

Mitch Trubisky

Adding a quarterback via free agency  was an expected addition to this group in the offseason. The former first round pick out of North Carolina by the Chicago Bears has not completely lived up to getting drafted that highly yet. His statistics aren’t bad from his time there but it wasn’t enough to keep him around. Some would put the blame on him; some would put the blame on the Bears. It’s probably somewhere in between. He spent last year backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo.

On the positive side, he’s started 50 games and has won 29 of those compiling over 10,000 passing yards and 64 touchdowns to go along with 38 interceptions. His best season was 2018 when he was 11-3 as a starter and was a Pro Bowl selection. He has also rushed for 1,081 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has the mobility that should fit the offense that Matt Canada wants to run and easily the most starting experience of the group.

Best Game: Week 4, 2018 vs Tampa Bay (win) – 19-26 for 354 yards, 6 TD’s, 0 INT’s, sacked 1 time for -10 yards, 3 carries for 53 yards, AY/A 18.23, QBR 154.6

On the negative side, Chicago let him go and he played only 33 snaps last year with Buffalo. He has fumbled 27 times in his career and lost 10 giving him 48 turnovers in 57 games. He has been sacked 111 times his 51 games in Chicago. In playoff games, he is 0-2 as a starter totaling just 24 points total. Overall, per Alex Kozora’s review, consistency in many aspects has been lacking to this point.

Worst Game: Week 14, 2018 vs Los Angeles Rams (win)– 16-30 for 110 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 6 carries for 23 yards, 1 sack for 10 yards, AY/A -0.17, QBR 33.3

Chris Oladokun

It’s not that often that a team selects two quarterbacks in the NFL draft but that was the case this year. Oladokun began his collegiate career at South Florida and spent two seasons there before transferring to Samford. After two seasons there, he transferred to South Dakota State. In 2021 he led the Jackrabbits to the FCS semifinal throwing for 25 TD’s, 7 interceptions and ran in two other scores on the ground. He’ll have the hardest time getting snaps in camp but just by drafting him it shows the team thinks he has something.

On the positive side, in college per the Kozora profile on him he showed accuracy and touch through the air and with the pocket mobility to find his way through traffic. He has solid arm strength and can throw on the run. While not considered overly fast he has mobility and the ability to make people miss on scrambles.

Best Game: Week 5, 2021 vs Southern Illinois (loss) – 23-31, 74.2% completions, 358 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 1 sack for -10 yards, 5 carries for 8 yards

On the negative side, he is slightly undersized at just over 6’1”. Playing at three schools in college and two in high school could raise questions about why he transferred twice. He is inexperienced playing under center and benefited from very effective run game. How many snaps will he get in camp and will it be enough to stick on the roster?

Worst Game – Week 7, 2021 vs Northern Iowa (loss) – 24 of 53, 45.3%, 300 yards, 1 TD’s, 0 INT’s, 11 carries for 7 yards

The choice is yours. I will tally up the comments and also do a poll on Twitter to get the results. The results of each position group will be listed below going forward until you have a complete roster.

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