Mason Rudolph   QB   Oklahoma St

TALENT
ROUND
1

STRENGTHS
Mason has the size and arm strength the NFL is looking for in a franchise quarterback. He reminds me of Arizona Cardinals Carson Palmer and Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco. He throws the deep ball with excellent accuracy and velocity. Mason has the arm strength to fit the ball in tight spots and his touch on the short and intermediate passes is as good as any quarterback in the college or pro ranks. His size and arm talent gives Mason the potential to be a starting quarterback with the potential to be a franchise quarterback the kind that opens up the running game with his passing accuracy and arm strength. Mason has the athletic talent and size to extend plays and make first downs running the ball but what he truly brings to the team that selects him is the arm talent most quarterbacks are missing.

CONCERNS
Although Mason has the potential to be a franchise quarterback that will never happen unless he learns how to better deal with pressure in the pocket. Right now he lacks the instincts to manipulate the pocket and feel pressure and he does lose accuracy under pressure, throwing the ball high when he is forced out of the pocket or has to move his feet. Throwing the ball high leads to tip balls and interceptions and that is a problem. Under adverse game situations Mason seems to lack confidence in his play and that is a big problem but as he matures and with smart play calling this lack of confidence can be masked but not totally corrected. That being said, give this kid a clean pocket and time in the pocket and he will break down the defense with surgical like accuracy.

BOTTOM LINE
Like I said Mason reminds me big time of Carson Palmer and like Carson, Masonís talent to throw the deep ball with accuracy and velocity is unique and the reason it might be smart for teams looking for a starting quarterback to select him early in this draft. If Mason can develop better feel in the pocket and confidence in his own play he can become a franchise quarterback. But right now the talent around Mason makes him better and not the other way around like a true franchise quarterback who makes the talent around him better. For me personally, Mason is a boom or bust pick and his success will depend on the right team and coaches selecting him. I can see Mason moving up to be considered the top quarterback in this draft by some teams because arm talent like his doesnít come along often in a draft despite his struggles with pressure in the pocket and lack of confidence in his play during adverse times in a game. Look at it this way, Carson Palmer has had a pretty good career and every year he gave the Bengals, Raiders and now Cardinals fan base the hope of a playoff and super bowl because of his arm talent. That being said, Carson has not really played up to a quarterback who was the very 1st pick in the 2003 Draft because he has always struggled dealing in a muddle pocket and struggled when the talent around him was not great. Mason Rudolph has Carson Palmer type of arm talent and teamís needing a quarterback will find that very hard to pass up but his problem with confidence and struggles being accurate and throwing from a muddle pocket could haunt him for his career and worse, show up in the most important games.

Drew Boylhart   DEC 2017