Browns: Could Mason Rudolph be Cleveland’s answer?

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback Mason Rudolph
STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback Mason Rudolph /

Right now, it looks like the Browns are locked into picking a quarterback No. 1 overall. But if Cleveland throws a curveball for the ages, and need to look for a quarterback later in the draft, Mason Rudolph could be a target.

At this point in time, there is almost no doubt about it. The Browns will be taking a quarterback (likely odds-on favorite, Sam Darnold) with their top overall pick. But, let’s play devil’s advocate for a second here, shall we?

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley performed on an otherworldly level at the NFL Scouting Combine. Additionally, Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson could be a valuable asset on the offensive line, allowing the Browns to move another lineman to left tackle in Joe Thomas’s absence.

But then, with those two first-round picks, what becomes of the quarterback position?

The Browns sold off DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers, and Cody Kessler greatly regressed in 2017. Tyrod Taylor is on the team, yes, but he is most likely just a bridge option for a quarterback to be named later.

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Should this scenario arise, the Browns may have a clear-cut option. With the 33rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Mason Rudolph, quarterback, Oklahoma State University.

Now this is where Tyrod Taylor comes in. Out of all the early-round quarterbacks, it seems that Mason Rudolph may be the biggest project of them all. Yes, even more than Wyoming’s Josh Allen. But what’s important to remember is that the talent is absolutely there.

First of all, the physical attributes. Rudolph is 6-foot-5 with a rocket arm and while he’s no Russell Wilson, he has some mobility to him. Rudolph is able to stand tall while in the pocket, deliver the ball cleanly and quickly, and throw some of his receivers open.

But, although the physical tools are there, Rudolph has a lot of work to do on the mental end of the game, as well as some doubts in his accuracy.’s profile of Rudolph claims that the wide-open Big 12 conference helped him to succeed:

"“Benefitted from ball-winning targets downfield. Wasn’t asked to get through many progressions in the offense.” — Lance Zierlein,"

Can this be changed? Yes, of course. But it might take a while for the game to come to Rudolph. Tyrod Taylor can once again be of assistance here. The Browns may need to sign him to one more year, unless they feel Rudolph is ready at the end of his rookie season.

Overall, Rudolph is everything that scouts want in a project quarterback. Big on the physical attributes, with plenty of upside if he can clean up his mental game and decision-making.

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Is he the best choice for Cleveland? Maybe not, as they will likely take a quarterback during round one. However, if Cleveland’s front office can convince themselves to pass on yet another first-round quarterback talent, Rudolph might just be the signal-caller they target in round two.