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Former Steelers DL Says Mason Rudolph is Best QB on Team



Steelers QB Mason Rudolph
Steelers QB Mason Rudolph against the Buffalo Bills Aug. 19, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

With Kenny Pickett down with a knee injury, Mitch Trubisky is set to start in his place if he can not go. Trubisky won a three-way competition between himself, Pickett, and Mason Rudolph during training camp last year before being benched for Pickett. Now, Pickett is the starter as the young quarterback who the Steelers hope to figure out if he is the answer for the future or not at the position.

However, not everyone believes Trubisky is the best option if Pickett is hurt. Former Steelers defensive tackle Chris Hoke believes that Rudolph could be the best quarterback on the team, even over Pickett. As a result, he believes that Pittsburgh should play Rudolph if Pickett has to miss any extended period.

“I think they need to go a little deeper down that depth chart and bring up Mason Rudolph,” Hoke said on the KDKA postgame show. “I’ve been saying this for two years, and I still think Mason could arguably be the best quarterback on that roster. He throws a good deep ball. He showed when he started two years ago that he could throw the ball really well.”

That’s a bold take from Hoke that is not a factor. Head coach Mike Tomlin reiterated that the team has confidence in Trubisky if he has to play with Pickett down. Rudolph was signed late this offseason as the security No. 3 quarterback and will likely remain there unless injuries occur. If Trubisky got hurt with Pickett down, Rudolph is an excellent third option on the team.

Rudolph, 27, spent the 2022 season as the Steelers’ third-string quarterback and dressed in just one game.

Before that, Rudolph was the top backup to Ben Roethlisberger from 2019-21. Rudolph played in 17 games in that stretch, making 10 starts, most of them in 2019.

Rudolph has thrown for 2,366 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has a career 61.5 completion percentage and 80.9 passer rating.

Rudolph was expected to be a successor to Roethlisberger, but things didn’t go as planned, starting in the 2019 season, when Roethlisberger was injured and Rudolph was unable to grab hold of the job, ceding playing time to undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges.

He played better in sparing action in 2020 and 2021, and Rudolph signed a two-year contract extension in 2021 that again seemed to have him poised as the Steelers’ follow-up to Big Ben. But then the team signed Mitch Trubisky in free agency and drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, which seemed to seal Rudolph’s fate in Pittsburgh as the third quarterback.