The Pittsburgh Steelers thought so highly of Mason Rudolph that they traded up in the third round to select the Oklahoma State quarterback.
Pittsburgh sent its 79th pick and a seventh-round selection (No. 220 overall) to the Seattle Seahawks to move up to No. 76 to grab Rudolph, making him the sixth quarterback off the board after the first five went in the first round.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said it was a “minimal” price to pay for Rudolph, who they “valued as much as the rest of those quarterbacks that were drafted (in the first round).”
“He was with the group of the top quarterbacks,” Colbert said, via PennLive.com. “That was a really good position. That’s very unique to the draft. It usually doesn’t come through with a nice group like that. … We haven’t had that much depth at the top of the draft at (quarterback) in a long time. Mason was certainly a part of that group in our opinion.”
Rudolph posted a 32-9 mark as a starter with the Cowboys and owns 54 school records, including single-season passing yards (4,553) and career passing yards (13,618), passing touchdowns (90) and pass efficiency (63.2 percent).
While Ben Roethlisberger, 36, is the Steelers’ unquestioned starter, they also have Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs on the roster.
Jones, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, has appeared in 19 games with the team. He completed 23 of 28 passes for 239 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his only game in 2017, a 28-24 victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 17.
Dobbs completed 59.4 percent of his passes during the preseason while throwing two touchdowns against three interceptions. He did not play in a regular-season game.
“I’m a competitive person,” Rudolph said. “I’m competitive to the bone. I’m going to come in and work my butt off to learn the system as quick as I can, have a great rookie minicamp. I look forward to getting whatever reps I can, throws at OTAs and try to take strides.
“It’s not Ben’s job to teach me anything. It’s my job to learn and that is the way I am going to look at it. Obviously, you’re sitting behind an unbelievable player and a good dude, so we’ll just kind of take it day by day and try to learn what I can each and every day.”
When asked if he would be willing to sit behind Roethlisberger for several years, Rudolph said the following:
“Listen, I’m just going to do whatever the coaching staff wants me to do,” he said. “Like I said, I’m going to prepare like I’m the starter whether that’s the case or not every single week, every single day, and put myself in the best position I can and let the chips fall where they may.”