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Steelers Draft Mason Rudolph, Ben Roethlisberger's Possible Successor

02 May, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Package deal: Rudolph, Washington heading to Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected former Oklahoma State football teammates Washington and Rudolph in the NFL Draft on Friday night.

Washington's selection marks the latest in a tradition of success for OSU wide receivers in the National Football League draft, as he joins Justin Blackmon, Dez Bryant, Rashaun Woods and Hart Lee Dykes as early-round picks at the position.

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With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger now 36 and nearing the end of his career, many have suggested the Steelers sell out and go into a complete win-now philosophy when it comes to this offseason.

They selected JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round of the 2017 draft.


It's clear, however, that the AFC North franchise saw value in selecting the Upper Marlboro, Md., native when he did, and he is the fifth former PSU standout to hear his name called after running back Saquon Barkley went No. 2 overall in Thursday's first-round to kick things off.

Both players were clearly on Pittsburgh's radar throughout the process.

Washington will join Steelers' star Antonio Brown, a six-time Pro Bowler, on the receiving corps.

And the duo already made a first impression to anyone paying attention to the game at Heinz Field on September 16. Two of those batted down throws came in one possession against Florida State in the 2017 opener. Washington caught five passes for 124 yards. Rudolph chucked eight touchdown passes in that game. An underrecruited prospect, Washington produced three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and entered the draft as the most accomplished receiver in the pool. He averaged 19.8 yards per reception during his college career.

He's the first OSU receiver drafted since Justin Blackmon. Rudolph's second-leading receiver, Marcell Ateman, will head to the West Coast.

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