The Pittsburgh Steelers may have found their successor to Ben Roethlisberger. After five quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the draft, not a single one went during the second. As the picks came off the board in the third round, the next-best available QB was still sitting there, so the Steelers traded up.
They sent picks No. 79 and 220 to the Seahawks in exchange for No. 76, where they selected Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph. Viewed by some as a potential first or second-round pick, Rudolph represented good value for Pittsburgh, and because they have a starter (Ben Roethlisberger, obviously) in place, Rudolph has time to sit and learn before he gets thrown into the fire.
Of course, Rudolph knows that Roethlisberger doesn't so much have a responsibility to Rudolph as he does to the team, and it's actually up to Rudolph to soak up all the knowledge he can from Big Ben while they're in the same locker room.
"It's not Ben's job to teach me anything," Rudolph said, per Penn Live. "It's my job to learn."
That's a pretty good attitude for Rudolph to have, considering not every starting quarterback is willing to teach the guy that was drafted to eventually take his job. (Brett Favre famously had no interest in tutoring Aaron Rodgers, for example.) And Roethlisberger may not have been expecting to be a tutor anytime soon. According to the Steelers' official website, the team actually didn't plan on taking a quarterback in this draft. Rather, they just felt the value on Rudolph was too good to pass up once he slipped into the third round, given that GM Kevin Colbert had a first-round grade on him.
That view was clearly shared by the Steelers' offensive staff. "A pretty accomplished player, at his school I want to say he was 32-9 as a starter," offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said of Rudolph. "Obviously, there's a lot of value in wins and he's a winner. He's very talented. Obviously, he throws the deep ball extremely well. It's valued here. It's something that we like to do, and it's something we've done very effectively."
Whenever he does take over for Roethlisberger, Rudolph will get to throw to his old college teammate, James Washington. With him, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Antonio Brown filling out the pass-catching corps, he'll be set up for success. It will be up to him to take what he's learned from Roethlisberger and put it into action on the field.