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Steelers' Mason Rudolph 'Would Be Our Starter' If Season Started Today, per Colbert

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 22, 2022

AP Photo/Don Wright

Mason Rudolph would be the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting quarterback if the 2022 NFL season began today.

"If we started a season today, Mason would be our starter, and we're excited to see where that can go," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday at his annual pre-NFL Scouting Combine news conference (h/t ESPN's Brooke Pryor). "Mason's 5-4-1 as an NFL starter, albeit in a backup kind of role, but we're excited to see what is next for Mason."

Rudolph has completed 61.5 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions and 6.2 yards per attempt over three years (17 games, 10 starts). He started eight games during the 2019 season in relief of Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered a season-ending right elbow injury in Week 2.

Pittsburgh is looking for a new starter after Roethlisberger retired following an 18-year career. Rudolph was Roethlisberger's backup last season, and Dwayne Haskins was third on the depth chart.

Despite Colbert's vote of confidence, he made it clear the Steelers will be adding to their quarterback room.

"We know we're going to add to the position," Colbert said. "I can't tell you how, but at this point we will go to camp with four."

As Pryor noted, that presumably means two quarterbacks will join Rudolph and Haskins.

The NFL draft has some notable prospects, including Liberty's Malik Willis, Pitt's Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss' Matt Corral and Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder.

Pittsburgh holds the Nos. 20, 52 and 84 picks. The Steelers could use one of those selections or perhaps trade up to land a signal-caller of their choice.

Colbert provided thoughts about the 2022 quarterback class as well.

"The draft class of quarterbacks, there's good quality availableโ€”probably not as many as there have been in recent years, but it is what it is," Colbert said.

He added:

"This group, there's good players in it. And there's good players that all have a different skill set. That's what was really unique about watching them compete at the Senior Bowl, because the majority of them were there, and they're all different. I know some of them will be starting quarterbacks, winning quarterbacks, and that's exciting."

Pittsburgh could also look to trade for a veteran such as the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers or Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson.

At any rate, Colbert is in the driver's seat through the draft as he looks to steer the team in the right direction before retiring in May. The team has not announced his replacement.

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