Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph’s vertical accuracy and current skill with reading and manipulating coverage.
Mason Rudolph is an odd prospect. Most quarterbacks have better accuracy within a range of 25 yards and under. Rudolph has better accuracy on vertical throws. I’ve studied around 200 attempts thus far, and Rudolph consistently displays pinpoint or near-pinpoint accuracy on targets covering 40 yards or greater from pitch to catch—several from the opposite hash.
If he were this accurate on targets of less than 30 yards, I’d have fewer questions about his game.
If Rudolph worked on his setup and throwing motion from the waist-down this summer and exhibits greater coordination with this part of his release process, his stock will rise. On the field, these improvements help him keep the ball down, call upon the velocity he’s capable of exhibiting, and remain in a “ready” position to throw with accuracy and velocity when working through his route progressions.
Rudolph’s mental grasp of the game has promise. What separates him from the great players are the smallest details that translate to aggressive and accurate throws of 12-25 yards. The NFL considers pass plays of at least 16 yards an “explosive play.” When an NFL team has one explosive play of this type during the average offensive drive, it scores 29 percent of the time. When it has 2, it scores 77 percent of the time. When a drive lacks a rush of 12 yards or a reception of at least 16 yards, the offense cores only 9 percent of the time.
Keep these stats in mind when watching quarterbacks because the highest percentage plays aren’t the bombs that Rudolph throws well, but the middle of the field and intermediate plays where he’s not as consistent as he needs to be.
I’m looking forward to seeing if Rudolph develops along the lines that will translate to an NFL career. If it doesn’t happen at Oklahoma State, it’s not impossible for him to do it in the NFL. However, it would be helpful if we see progress with his technique. If he improves, we should see greater confidence to act on plays that his technique could effectively support.
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