Mason Rudolph and James Washington spent four years lighting up defenses across the Big 12 Seahawks Elite Jerseys , setting records and winning game after game for Oklahoma State.
Now, the big-armed quarterback and rugged wide receiver are headed to Pittsburgh. Where they will listen. They will learn. And they will wait. For now anyway. When the guys in front of you on the depth chart include Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, there's no other choice.
That's fine for both Washington 鈥?taken in the second round 鈥?and Rudolph 鈥?selected with the first of Pittsburgh's two third-round picks.
"To go on to the next chapter with one of your brothers and the best receiver you've spent your whole college days with and maybe spend 15 years with, it's awesome," said Rudolph said.
Rudolph went 32-9 as a starter with Oklahoma State, the most wins by a quarterback there. Washington set a school record with 4,472 yards receiving, including 125 in Oklahoma State's blowout win over Pittsburgh at Heinz Field last September.
Both players spent the Cowboys' walkthrough the night before the game looking around the stands and playing "what if." Now that "what if" is reality.
"I had no clue this was in the works," Rudolph said.
Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner downplayed the idea that Rudolph will serve as Roethlisberger's eventual heir Bills Trent Murphy Jersey , though Rudolph is the first quarterback the Steelers have taken before the fourth round since they drafted Roethlisberger 11th overall in 2004.
Fichtner hopes the 36-year-old Roethlisberger plays for another handful of seasons. The two-time Super Bowl winner told teammates after the Steelers fell to Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs he expects to play at least three more years.
"I always keep my fingers crossed that he's healthy and he wants to play," Fichtner said. "It'd be great for us. It'd be great for me, because he's a guy that's going to be awful hard to replace and if it takes three guys in competition to replace him someday, so be it."
Rudolph will fight for a backup spot with Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs while soaking up what he can from Roethlisberger.
"It's not Ben's job to teach me anything," Rudolph said. "It's my job to learn."
Rudolph set 54 school records during his time at Oklahoma State and at 6-foot-5, 235-pounds is similar to Roethlisberger in terms of size. Whether Rudolph ends up checking all the other boxes, however, is another matter.
The 22-year-old doesn't lack for confidence. Asked if he understands why he slipped to the third round behind the group of five quarterbacks that went in the first round on Thursday, Rudolph admitted the slight will stick with him.
"It's definitely a burning fire that definitely began Thursday night and will keep going for a long time Authentic Jalyn Holmes Jersey ," Rudolph said. "(But) I'm a little done with the comparison questions. I'm confident with the way I stacked up."
So is Washington.
The Steelers grabbed him with the 60th overall selection, immediately filling the void created when Pittsburgh dealt talented but enigmatic Martavis Bryant to Oakland on Thursday.
Though the 5-foot-11 Washington lacks Bryant's size and 4.3 speed, he compensates with a competitiveness that made him productive wherever he lined up in the wide-open offense Rudolph guided.
"He's intelligent (and) he held down his position for a long time," Fichtner said. "We would expect that he have that ability to come in, learn and hold that position down quickly."
Regardless of what the stopwatch says 鈥?Washington ran a so-so 4.54 40-yard dash at the combine 鈥?Washington can get downfield. He averaged 19.8 yards per reception with the Cowboys and showed the kind of elusiveness that allowed him to turn a short pass into a sprint to the end zone.
At 213 pounds, Washington also has the strength to be an effective blocker in the run game and brings a kind of physicality the Steelers have long valued in their receiving group.
"This guy comes in with several tricks," new offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said.
Fichtner called Washington "no maintenance," which would be a departure from Bryant, who was twice suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy and was briefly benched last fall after demanding a trade.
This is the second straight year the Steelers have taken a wide receiver in the second round. They selected JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round of the 2017 draft. Smith-Schuster's rapid development 鈥?his seven touchdown receptions were the most by a rookie in the NFL last year 鈥?made Bryant expendable.
"They got the best (receiving group) in the league Falcons Cheap Jerseys ," Washington said. "I can't wait to work with those guys and learn from them."
Pittsburgh picked Western Michigan offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafora with their second third-round selection. Okorafora adds depth to a line that helped the Steelers finish fourth in yards while going 13-3 and claiming their third division title in four years.
It's not quite the draft most expected from Pittsburgh. The Steelers took safety Terrell Edmunds in the first round but focused on offense Friday despite glaring needs at inside linebacker and the secondary.
They'll try to address those needs on Saturday. Pittsburgh has two picks in the fifth and one in the seventh.
It's no kept secret that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick runs a tight ship, and plenty of former players in Foxborough haven't wasted any time in throwing shade at the hooded genius.The latest one to take his shot at coach Belichick is Danny Amendola - who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots, but decided to join the Miami Dolphins in free agency this offseason.Appearing on the聽Comeback SZN聽podcast (via聽Mike Reiss of ESPN), Amendola detailed the differences between Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and Belichick, and it sure sounds like he's embracing life in South Beach much more."Coach Gase is one of the guys. He's our leader, he's our head coach, but he's also our boy." Amendola said. "It's cool, it's refreshing to have that kind of relationship with a coach, something I haven't had in a long time. ... Back in New England Packers Josh Jackson Jersey , it's almost like you had a principal and a principal's office and s--t like that; in a good way and a bad way, too."Amendola was instrumental in helping the Patriots win Super Bowls 49 and 51 - and for getting them back to the big game this year, though they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles. But after taking pay cut after pay cut in Foxborough, Amendola took the money and signed a two-year deal worth $12 million witt the AFC East foe Dolphins. Though Belichick is the most successful and accomplished head coach in NFL history, there have been plenty of stars who simply couldn't stand playing for him. Tight end Rob Gronkowski reportedly contemplated retirement before the 2017 season, simply getting tired of Belichick's tight ship.Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler also voiced his displeasure after being benched in this year's big game against the Eagles, saying the coaches "gave up" on him. He wound up signing with the Tennessee Titans.The Patriots have always been able to put all the drama behind them and stay in the hunt for Lombardi Trophies on an annual basis. But it sure sounds like Belichick has rubbed plenty of his key players the wrong way, and you can't help but wonder if the end of the dynasty is in sight..