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2018 NFL Draft: How QB Mason Rudolph Would Fit with the Jaguars

Ruairi Songer

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Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the 2017 season, no quarterback prospect was more polarizing than Mason Rudolph. Generally considered near the top of his class prior to the season start, he was quickly buried under the hype of big-name prospects such as Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson.

While the national media focused mainly on the top names in college, Rudolph quietly had the best year of his career for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Yet, his draft stock plummeted.

With the Jaguars in the market for QB competition and picking near the end of the first round, it is very possible that they could take a gamble on Rudolph. To see how Rudolph would fit as a Jacksonville Jaguar, let’s take a closer look at his physical profile and college film.

Measurables: (#) = Percentiles vs. NFL QBs

Height: 6-4 5/8 (83)        Hands: 9 1/8 (14)

Weight: 235 (88)              40 yard dash: 4.9 (35)

Arms: 32 3/8 (60)           Vertical Jump: 26″(5)

Strengths:

Rudolph possesses the ideal frame for a quarterback, nearly matching Josh Allen in both height and weight. While he is not incredibly mobile, his impressive size makes it difficult for pass-rushers to take him down. He stands tall and confident in the pocket, and effectively slides around to avoid pressure while keeping his eyes downfield.

This clip is particularly impressive to me due to the circumstances of the game. Oklahoma State is down by eight in the fourth on a 3rd and 22. Despite the parlous conditions, Rudolph looks calm as ever. He feels the pressure, adjusts, and delivers a dime between double-coverage for a touchdown.

Rudolph’s deep ball may be the best in the country. He has shown the ability the consistently hit deep targets in stride with laser-like precision. When throwing long passes, Rudolph’s ball placement and accuracy issues seem non-existent.

Rudolph’s intermediate passing game is underrated, particularly in the middle of the field. He is patient in the pocket and allows crossing receivers to create separation before throwing the ball. His intermediate throws seem to have the “zip” that his short passes lack.

Even though this play ended as dropped pass for an interception it is a good illustration of Rudolph’s patience. Oklahoma has eight men in coverage, and no wide-receivers are immediately open besides the check-down. Instead of taking the running lane ahead of him or tossing the short pass, Rudolph waits for his receiver to break away from the defenders and tosses a dart to his wideout.

Rudolph is sharp in the film room and has been praised by his teammates for his work-ethic and leadership abilities.

Weaknesses:

Although Rudolph has an ideal frame, his athleticism doesn’t match up. His 40-time (4.9) is below average, and his arm strength is questionable. Any corner or out routes become immediate liabilities. He doesn’t generate enough velocity to get the ball to the sideline quickly, allowing cornerbacks to recover and make a play on the ball.

Here Rudolph was just a second late on his release, but his lack of velocity allowed the Oklahoma cornerback to nearly intercept the ball for six.

Ball placement on short passes remains an issue for Rudolph. He makes receivers work for catches too often, which eliminates YAC opportunities. His overall accuracy is also inconsistent. He is capable of threading needles at times but will miss a target by a mile just as often. Needs to improve consistency if he wants to be an NFL starter.

Fit with the Jaguars

Rudolph, if drafted, would create immediate QB competition for Blake Bortles. His deep ball threat would pair nicely with Keelan Cole, and his pocket presence and success between the seams would benefit Marqise Lee. Oklahoma State’s offensive scheme heavily involved play-action, which would aid Rudolph in the Jags run-centric offense.

Unfortunately, Rudolph’s lack of speed would effectively eliminate the read-option threat and weaken any type of designed scrambling.  His arm-strength will also most likely always be an issue, and will limit the variety of throws he is able to make. His turnover worthy plays are worrisome for the Jags; a team that values ball security.

Overall, Rudolph has a spot in Jacksonville. He complements Keelan Cole nicely and could fight for a starting spot with Blake Bortles. Having said that, is he worth a first round pick? In my opinion, no. There will be better players than Rudolph available at positions of need (G, TE, CB). If Rudolph was available in the late second round, however, the Jags shouldn’t hesitate to add him to the team.

Ruairi Songer is a lifelong Jags fan and Duval native. You can follow him on Twitter (@ruairi_s) for Jags news, Draft information, and off-season updates.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars finalize coaching staff after landing offensive coordinator

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have finalized their 2019 coaching staff. They’ve officially hired their offensive coordinator as well as other staff members. John DeFilippo was the headliner for today as the replacement for Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.

The Jaguars also announced the remainder of their staff. As we covered in the past couple of weeks they have hired several position coaches, including Terry Robiskie as running backs coach, George Warhop as the offensive line coach, and Tim Walton as the secondary coach.

The rest of the staff was a mystery until today. The Jaguars announced they will be promoting assistant defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich to defensive line coach, and they have hired David Merritt as their assistant defensive line coach. Merritt spent the past season as the Arizona Cardinals defensive backs coach. Joe Danna will be promoted as well and will be coaching the safeties. Danna has been on the Jaguars staff as an assistant secondary coach since 2017. John Donovan, another assistant coach for the Jaguars, will be promoted to assistant running backs coach.

It is worth noting in today’s presser Marrone stated Tim Walton will coach the cornerbacks, and Joe Danna will coach the safeties. “I thought we could get more out of our coaches and players if we split the secondary,” Marrone said. This is worth noting as Walton actually held a similar role with the Giants for the past couple of seasons.

Scott Milanovich will remain on staff as the quarterbacks coach. Milanovich was the play-caller for the final five weeks of the season. Milanovich has been with the Jaguars as a QB coach since 2017.

There were no other major coaching changes on the Jaguars roster as the rest of the staff will stay intact.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars will retain quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich

Zach Goodall

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Nov 26, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will retain Scott Milanovich as their quarterbacks coach, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Milanovich filled in as interim offensive coordinator after Nate Hackett was fired midseason, but the offense saw no improvement with the QB coach calling plays. However, the team appears confident that the former Grey Cup-winning CFL head coach can handle the responsibilities of quarterbacks coach, a position Milanovich has held since Doug Marrone was named head coach in 2017.

The team hired John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator earlier today. You can read why he was a fantastic hire here. Marrone mentioned during his press conference today that Milanovich and DeFilippo have a previous relationship in Maryland.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to hire John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator, per report

Zach Goodall

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Credit: 247Sports.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to hire John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator, per report.

DeFilippo was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator during the 2018 season, but was fired during Week 15, apparently due to a conflict of play-calling interests with head coach Mike Zimmer, who wanted to focus more on the run game than DeFilippo’s strengths with the pass game.

However, despite a lack of calling the run, Vikings quarterback had a historic season as a passer when it came to efficiency, being the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4000+ yards, 30+ touchdowns, 10 or fewer interceptions, and complete at least 70% of his passes. Much of this can be credited to DeFilippo’s influence in the passing game.

Previous to Minnesota, DeFilippo was the Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach during their 2017-18 Super Bowl run, where he was key to the development of Carson Wentz and rejuvenation of Nick Foles’ career after Wentz tore his ACL. He also served as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2015, where then-36 year old Josh McCown posted the second most touchdown passes of his 13 year career with 12 in eight games, along with 2109 passing yards, a 63.7 completion percentage, and only four interceptions.

DeFilippo’s first NFL coaching job came in 2005 as an offensive quality control coach under then New York Giants head coach and current EVP of Football Operations for the Jaguars, Tom Coughlin. So there’s a definite connection to the team in ths hire.

At the end of the day, the Jaguars number one priority this offseason has to be, and will be, fixing their passing game woes. Quarterback Blake Bortles needs to be replaced, and the team’s next signal caller must be groomed into a successful QB. DeFilippo has proven with Cousins, Foles/Wentz, as well as Josh McCown in Cleveland during the 2015 season, that he’s capable of doing just that.

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