It’s been no secret that Ben Roethlisberger, the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, hasn’t been happy with the Steelers’ decision to draft Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. But apparently that dissatisfaction extends beyond just himself and his own starting job.
On an appearance on the Cook and Poni Show on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger was asked about Pittsburgh’s choice to draft Rudolph. He stated that he was “surprised” by the pick and thought the Steelers should’ve used that third-round selection to choose someone to “help us win now.”
But that’s not all the six-time Pro Bowler had to say about the pick.
The hosts of the show would go on to ask Roethlisberger about how the pick affects the other quarterbacks on the roster, Landry Jones and former Vol quarterback Josh Dobbs. He was asked in particular about Dobbs since the Steelers used a fourth-round pick to take Dobbs in last year’s draft.
“He and Landry were the two guys I’ve spoken to the most,” Roethlisberger stated. “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t worried about someone taking my job. I feel confident that I can go out and beat whoever I need to beat out for my job, that’s just the confidence I have in myself…I assume Landry’s still the No. 2. I don’t really know. And Josh, same thing, last year he was taken in the fourth round. So does that mean the Steelers screwed up in that pick? Do they think he wasn’t the one that they thought? Or has he not developed the way they thought? Why else would you take a quarterback in the third round the next year?”
Dobbs never saw the field during the regular season in 2017. He appeared in all four of Pittsburgh’s preseason contests last year and scored the game-winning touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the last game of the preseason. He completed 38 of his 64 passes for 406 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions in the preseason, adding 34 rushing yards and a score on seven carries as well.
But despite his progression in the preseason and offseason, Pittsburgh elected to take another quarterback in this year’s draft. And Roethlisberger is confused by the move.
“So did they screw up the pick?” Roethlisberger added. “Or was (Dobbs) not as good as they thought? I don’t know, and I feel bad, because Josh puts a lot of work in.”
Rudolph completed 63.2 percent of his 1,447 pass attempts for 13,618 yards, 92 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions in four years at Oklahoma State. He also scored 17 rushing touchdowns, though he didn’t run it much besides at the goal line.
Roethlisberger, who just turned 36 in March of this year, has missed at least a game each of the last three seasons. He’s never missed more than four total games in any one regular season, but he’s only played a full 16-game season three times in his 14 NFL seasons.
When Roethlisberger has missed games the last three seasons, Jones has been the player to take his place at quarterback. Dobbs was firmly in the No. 3 spot last season, but now the Rudolph pick complicates things.
At the beginning of last season, only one NFL team entered the 2017 season with four quarterbacks on their roster, and that was the Indianapolis Colts. Their main quarterback, Andrew Luck, failed to play at all during the season, however.