With the college football season now officially over, all eyes shift forward to the NFL Draft.
Mason Rudolph and James Washington are all expected to be drafted relatively early. Let’s take a look where the duo is predicted to land, according to some “expert” mock drafts.
This one will make a lot of Oklahoma State fans happy.
James Washington is projected to be the first Cowboy off the board, changing cities but not changing team names.
That’s right, “The President” is projected to go No. 19 overall to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys go with speed on the outside in Round 1 with Washington. Dez Bryant needs someone like his fellow Oklahoma State alum to draw double coverage away from him. Washington’s presence will benefit Dak Prescott too.
Meanwhile, his QB is projected to head out east and fight the snow every season. Two picks after Washington comes off the board, Mason Rudolph hears his name called at No. 21 by the Buffalo Bills.
Rudolph checks the experience and production boxes Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane like, and they don’t have to trade up to get him. He’ll have to learn the footwork that’s needed when taking snaps from under center, but he’s a pocket quarterback first who refined his game in his last season in Stillwater.
In a loaded QB class, Buffalo may well have the steal of the first round, as Rudolph is the fourth QB picked, following Sam Darnold (1, Cleveland), Josh Rosen (5, Denver) and Baker Mayfield (6, NY Jets).
Washington is once again the first Oklahoma State player off the board, however, both players are projected to go to playoff teams.
At No. 24, Washington is projected to be picked by the Carolina Panthers.
Someone get the Panthers a wide receiver who can separate and beat defensive backs with speed. This high the options are a little bit limited. Washington, with his 20.9 yards per catch average, is a fit. He can make plays over the top or beat defenders after the catch.
After trading away Kelvin Benjamin, Cam Newton is looking for a new WR1. Former Stanford standout Christian McCaffrey acutally leads the team in receptions with 80. Devin Funchess is the team leader in receiving yards (840) and receiving TDs (8). Washington could be a good fit in the Carolina system - if Newton can get the time in the pocket he needs.
Up next, Rudolph is projected to be groomed by a legend and eventually take over for one of the greatest QBs in NFL history.
The New Orleans Saints have the 28th pick, and according to the Mothership, they will take Rudolph.
Rudolph may be more of a second-round player, but there’s some sense in taking him in the first. For the Saints it would give them a player who can eventually take over for Drew Brees, one of the oldest players in the NFL. They would also get another guaranteed year on his contract, so if Brees sticks around the Saints have another year of time on their side.
There are plenty of open spots for QBs this season, as the previous generation of QBs such as Brees, Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Tom Brady are reaching the twilights of their careers. Carson Palmer, Arizona’s starter last season, has already called it a career.
Washington is the only Cowboy drafted in the first round of the BR Mock Draft. They also have the Biletnikoff winner headed to North Carolina to join the Panthers with the No. 24 pick.
Five QBs are projected to be taken in the first round, but Rudolph is not one of them. Darnold goes No. 1 to Cleveland, Rosen goes to the New York Giants at No. 2, and Mayfield goes to the Jets at No. 6 for the third and final QB in the top 10. Washington looks to replace Kirk Cousins by drafting Josh Allen No. 13 overall and Arizona replaces the freshly-retired Palmer with Louisville standout and Heisman winner Lamar Jackson at No. 15.
In the January 3 edition of USA Today’s 4-round mock draft, they have Rudolph coming off the board for the Cowboys first.
At No. 21, the Bills look to find their QB of the future with Oklahoma State’s all-time wins leader.
Tyrod Taylor doesn’t look like the long-term answer for the Bills at quarterback, and the early returns aren’t promising on Nate Peterman. A bit of a reach this early, Rudolph is big, athletic and talented, but needs more polish and consistency.
In the second round, Washington is projected to head to football purgatory. He will join Emmanuel Ogbah on the worst team in the NFL. Cleveland is projected to select the speedster at No. 36.
It’s not only the Oklahoma State power couple that end up drafted in this mock draft. The other impressive wide receiver from Kasey Dunn’s squad is projected to hear his name called is Marcell Ateman.
At No. 104, the Chicago Bears will look to add another weapon to Mitch Trubisky’s arsenal. He would come in as the tallest receiver, and should be expected to be used as a complement to Cameron Meredith and Kevin White (if the latter can ever stay healthy enough).
Where do you think Rudolph, Washington and Ateman will end up? Where do you want to see them play at the next level?