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Mason Rudolph’s draft stock is rising quickly

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Could Rudolph head to the NFL draft after his junior season?

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Rudolph is on an absolute tear. His stats this season are the stuff of NFL Scout’s dreams. Rudolph has completed 65 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions.

Over his last five conference games, Rudolph has thrown for 1693 yards, 19 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Early in the season, it seemed as if he would most certainly return for his senior campaign. Now, that may be up in the air a little bit after Rudolph’s last month. With statistics like that, and his measurables (6’5", 240), Rudolph may be a prime contender for become a first-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL draft, should he choose to forego his senior season.

Bleacher Report put out an article last week, saying Rudolph could be a mid-second round pick, and could capitalize on his success by heading to the draft.

If you're looking for a player with all of those attributes, with the arrow pointing up on his draft potential, then you don't need to look further than QB1 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. While the other passers in this class are losing steam, Rudolph is building momentum during his true junior season.

Once J.W. Walsh, a former Army All-American and Big 12 Freshman of the Year, went down with an injury during Rudolph's freshman season, he began seeing playing time, along with Daxx Garman—a transfer from Arizona. Garman eventually transferred to Maryland, leaving Walsh and Rudolph to split time in 2015.

It’s not just Bleacher Report who is taking notice of Rudolph, though.

Rudolph’s improvement and his ability to ride the momentum he’s picked up has been quite impressive. What’s been more impressive is his ability to maneuver the pocket under pressure. Take a look at this throw from Rudolph late in Saturday’s game against Kansas State.

It’s clear that Rudolph has what it takes to make it in the NFL, at least in my opinion.  I'm sure we can all agree on that. There are still scouts out there, however, who don’t agree with a first or second round designation for him.

Whatever Rudolph decides to do following the 2016 season, it will be the third straight season that we’ve seen improvement. Whether he heads to the NFL in three months or after next season, NFL scouts will see a past trajectory of improvement. It shows that he is coachable. NFL teams love intangible qualities, and Rudolph brings nearly all of them to the table.