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Steelers ranked Mason Rudolph alongside first-round quarterbacks

By taking Mason Rudolph in the third round, the Pittsburgh Steelers sent a message to last year's fourth-round pick, Joshua Dobbs.

The Steelers became the first team to take a quarterback after the end of the first round when they traded up in the third round to draft Mason Rudolph.

Pittsburgh had to give a seventh-round pick to the Seahawks for the chance to move up three spots, which General Manager Kevin Colbert called a “minimal” price to eliminate the risk that a quarterback they “valued as much as the rest of those quarterbacks that were drafted” in the first round would end up somewhere else.

“He was with the group of the top quarterbacks,” Colbert said, via “That was a really good position. That’s very unique to the draft. It usually doesn’t come through with a nice group like that. ... We haven’t had that much depth at the top of the draft at [quarterback] in a long time. Mason was certainly a part of that group in our opinion.”

Rudolph will veer away from the rest of that group when it comes to the expectations for this season. While all five quarterbacks taken in the first round have veterans in front of them on the depth chart now, it would be little surprise to see that change before 2018 is out. That’s highly unlikely for reasons other than injury in Pittsburgh, which should leave plenty of time for Rudolph to learn about the pro game.