Coming into this season, there was plenty of talk about which quarterbacks would be taken in the 2017 NFL draft. One name mentioned; Mason Rudolph. Earlier this year there was an article saying Rudolph could end up being the best QB behind Deshaun Watson.
So how can we know if Rudolph has a real chance to not only be drafted, but become a successful NFL quarterback? I was listening to Colin Cowherd’s podcast last week and he said something I found interesting. No quarterback is a franchise guy in the NFL that completed less than 60 percent of his throws in college. Not necessarily every year (Matt Stafford didn’t connect on over 60 percent of his passes until his Senior year), but at least one.
I looked at every quarterback starting in the NFL this season (including Jimmy Garoppolo) and found that all but two passed for 60 percent or more for at least one season during their college career; Tyrod Taylor, and Trevor Siemian. I don’t see either lasting as a starter long term.
Completing 60% of your passes in college does NOT guarantee you will be a long term or even successful quarterback in the NFL. Things like arm strength, mobility, and a good head on your shoulders all play a big roll. RGIII, Geno Smith, and yes even Brandon Weeden, had a completion rate over 70% their last seasons in college, and I don’t think any of them has gone on to do that much in the league. EJ Manuel, the first quarterback taken in the 2013 draft, can’t even beat out Tyrod Taylor for the starting job in Buffalo.
So with all of this in mind, let’s look at Rudolph (We will skip the three games in 2014):
In 2015, Rudolph completed 62 percent of his passes (264/424).
Through three games this year he’s completing 62 percent (71/114) of his passes. . Compare that to 2015 when he completed 68 percent (62/90).
The percentage is down, and the passes are up. It’s also been an increase in competition over last year’s non-conference schedule. We’ve also seen some holes in Rudolph’s game, especially in the last two games (ie: his habit of overthrowing receivers when he’s pressured to throw quickly.).
It will be interesting to keep an eye on Rudolph’s completion percentage through the season, especially with the increase in usage. It could not only determine Rudolph’s future after OSU, but the outcome of this season.