Detroit Lions: 3 players who could be surprise cuts come September
Jake Rudock, Quarterback
This one may not make waves, as the 2016 sixth round pick doesn’t have as high a draft position as Killibrew or the highlights Riddick has. Why this one is important, however, is the change in perception of Rudock over the last year.
Last preseason, Rudock put on a show and at one point was rumored to be the subject of trade talks according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The Lions decided to keep Rudock and assumed their status as one of the better backup quarterback situations in the NFL. That was, until their week 15 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
Matthew Stafford went down with a hand injury, and Rudock stepped in to the tune of going 3/5 on passes with an ugly pick-six. Even in such a small sample size, Rudock looked frazzled and incoherent in leading the offense.
In his defense, that game was ugly all around for the Lions as they got throttled for almost all of four quarters. Nonetheless, it was not a good look for Rudock in his first regular season action.
This upcoming training camp, many eyes will be on Rudock to see whether his preseason self or regular season self shows up. The Lions have brought in veteran quarterback Matt Cassel, who is not particularly good by any means, to compete for the backup role.
Initial reports from OTA’s say that Cassel and Rudock have been going back and forth in taking reps with the second team. That Cassel is pushing for the spot so quickly could mean Rudock is trending in the wrong direction, as he is the incumbent and should have a leg up given his familiarity with the offense.
As The Athletic‘s Chris Burke noted, watching the Jake Rudock situation could be especially important in a time where mediocre quarterbacks are seeing their value go through the roof:
Next: Fairly ranking Matthew Stafford and a decade of No. 1 picks
With an inconsistent track record, it will be important to watch how Jake Rudock performs throughout the preseason. The Detroit Lions have made it clear that Rudock will have competition — it’s up to him to step up and prove his worth as he enters his third-year with the team.