What a difference a year makes. At this point in the preseason last year, Jake Rudock was a week away from getting cut after a miserable training camp and a mediocre preseason.
Flash forward to Sunday, and now not only is Rudock firmly in control of the Detroit Lions’ backup quarterback position, but Ian Rapoport is claiming that Rudock is now drawing interest from other NFL teams for a potential trade.
While this is surprising considering where Rudock came from last year, it’s not all that shocking if you’ve seen Rudock play this preseason. Just look at his statline through three games:
31-47, 339 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 99.5 passer rating
Not only does the statline look good, but Rudock has passed the eye test, as well. His accuracy is better, he looks in control of the Lions’ offense, he’s comfortable in the pocket, and, perhaps most surprisingly, he’s making challenging throws.
His talent has been on display for all teams to see, and several of those teams are in big quarterback trouble. The Buffalo Bills had two of their passers suffer concussions on Saturday. The Jets, who you could argue have zero starting quarterbacks, saw one option—Bryce Petty—suffer an injury in Week 3 of the preseason.
But with quarterbacks at such a minimum, should the Lions trade away Rudock? And if so, what is the proper return on him? Today’s Question of the Day is:
Would you be comfortable if the Lions traded Rudock away for a fourth-round pick?
My answer: No, I wouldn’t. While upgrading a 2016 sixth-round pick into a fourth-round pick in just a single year is wildly impressive, I’m just not comfortable entering the 2017 season with Brad Kaaya—or a player off the waiver wire—as the team’s backup quarterback.
I know what you’re saying already: But if Matthew Stafford goes down, the season is over anyways. But what if he’s out for just a single game? And what if that game is someone like the Browns. Do you think Brad Kaaya could beat Cleveland? Maybe. Do you think Jake Rudock could? Probably.
Obviously if the Lions trade away Rudock, they’ll add a quarterback, but don’t expect it to be an adequate backup. Sure, the Lions could be the team that finally takes a chance on Colin Kaepernick, but I doubt that happens considering the awkward scheme fit. Detroit is much more likely to bring back Mr. Safety Dance himself, Dan Orlovsky, who currently sits third on the Los Angeles Rams’ depth chart and could very well find himself out of a job come cut day. Orlovsky already knows the system back-to-front and would make a quick fix to the Lions’ backup situation.
But for me to be completely comfortable with that scenario, the Lions would have to get a third-round pick in return or a defensive lineman that would see significant playing time in 2017. Unfortunately, I don’t think Rudock is worth nearly that much to any team, so I ultimately believe Rudock stays. in Detroit
Would you be happy if the Lions’ traded Jake Rudock away for a fourth-round pick?
This poll is closed