The New York Giants are reportedly interested in several quarterbacks ahead of the impending 2018 NFL draft. They range from Sam Darnold to Josh Rosen and everybody in between.
Besides the interest in quarterbacks, players like Saquon Barkley and Quenton Nelson lead the pack in rumors, and present very enticing options for general manager Dave Gettleman and his associates.
A darkhorse looms:
The Giants have done their due diligence on a majority of the signal callers in the draft, but one late first-round projection has slipped through the cracks.
His 65% completion percentage and 4,904 passing-yards in 2017 opened a few eyes, and TD-INT ratio of 37-9 forced a few more to stare in his direction. This quarterback is OSU’s Mason Rudolph.
Rudolph is ranked behind Rosen, Darnold, Allen, Mayfield and even Lamar Jackson. Teams seem to be looking beyond his abilities as a passer for tangible reasons such as arm strength and technique, but he’s still a high-reward type of player.
Retweeted Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo):
Giants’ reported interest in Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (via @RapSheet) is interesting because there is some overlap to what he ran in college and what Mike Shula ran in Carolina. pic.twitter.com/6viV8cYqid
— Our Rev Westchester (@RDanaFox) April 6, 2018
The Giants have expressed interest in Rudolph due to their offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, having experience in similar systems. The overlap in offensive schemes gives the OSU quarterback a leg up, but the Giants would likely have to move up into the first-round to grab him.
Reports have seen the New England Patriots display interest as Tom Brady’s possible heir, but it’s yet to be confirmed whether they’re considering him as a possible selection.
At 6-foot-5, Rudolph has the height and frame to be an elite level quarterback, but his below average arm strength could cause issues at the professional level. One of his strengths is his vision and ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver strikes.
Rudolph’s 65% completion rating is second highest in the draft class just behind Baker Mayfield (70.5%).
This is one of the most riduculous throws in college football last year from Mason Rudolph: pic.twitter.com/GIwiiKZ4XK
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 28, 2018
Reports of his arm strength being sub-par can be stifled by this simple clip. Watch as he climbs the pocket with great footwork and unleashed a pass that travels 50 yards and hits his receiver in stride. His accuracy is certainly a positive in his game, and his ability to throw receivers open is another aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked.
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Risky throw here. Down and time running low. Only need a FG to stay in the game. Mason Rudolph holds the ball, buys time and trusts his receiver. It worked. pic.twitter.com/CIwYbmwoaG
— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 5, 2018
This is an interesting clip, as it shows Rudolph’s risky tendencies and questionable decision making. In this scenario, OSU only needed to grab a field goal to bring them within striking distance. On third-and-22, Rudolph launches a jump ball into double coverage in the endzone. This isn’t the most ideal pass for that situation, but it worked nonetheless. Taking a risk comes with its consequences, which we should all be familiar with after watching Eli Manning play for 14 years.
Rudolph needs to work a bit on his footwork, decision making, and arm strength, but he has all of the tools to develop into a stellar professional player. Depending on what scheme he’s forced into and whether the environment suits his needs, Rudolph is a true wild card.