One of the positions the New England Patriots are expected to address through the draft this year is quarterback: With undisputed starter Tom Brady turning 41 in August and backup Brian Hoyer no long-term solution at the position, the team is in need for a developmental prospect in the mold of Jimmy Garoppolo – one that might eventually even take over for Brady at one point further down the road.
The Patriots have been linked to multiple quarterbacks and while it would be a shocker to see them trade up in the first round to acquire one of the consensus top-tier passers, seeing them select one from the second or third pool would not be that big of a surprise. And one of the players to fall in this category is Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph, who was recently worked out by the Patriots (per Ian Rapoport).
Rudolph is coming off a prolific college career. During his final season with the Cowboys, he completed 65% of his passing attempts for 4,904 yards, 37 touchdowns and only nine interceptions – numbers that look like a typical Tom Brady season with the Patriots. Naturally, the 22-year old is drawing plenty of interest from teams around the league and might come off the board as early as the first round later this month.
The Patriots, holding two selections in round one, would have the ammunition to bring in the 6'4, 235 lbs passer. But would they actually do it? Rudolph certainly has the physical tools to find success at the next level but would need plenty of work to turn into a starting-caliber player in the NFL: His throwing motion needs to be sharpened, while his vision, accuracy and pocket presence all have to improve.
The foundation is in place and a situation like the one in New England – established starter, top-notch coaching staff, talented skill players around – would certainly be ideal for a player like Rudolph. Whether the Patriots feel the same way and think that they can correct his obvious flaws and turn him into sharp, quickly-reacting quarterback similar to Brady will decide if they invest in him.
According to Rapoport, Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington also was among the players the Patriots opted to work out recently. Washington, who is among the most versatile wide receivers to enter the draft, comes with an impressive set of hands, solid measurements and outstanding college production: He averaged 53.5 catches, 1,112 receiving yards and 9.8 touchdowns during his four seasons in college.