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Was Mason Rudolph the Bills’ backup plan at QB?

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After drafting Mason Rudolph as Ben Roethlisberger‘s heir apparent, general manager Kevin Colbert revealed that the Steelers graded the Oklahoma State star on par with the best quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.

They weren’t alone in evaluating Rudolph as a worthwhile early-round gamble.

Appearing on Monday’s edition of NFL Up to the Minute, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Bills would have “strongly considered” Rudolph at No. 22 overall had they not been successful in trading up for Wyoming’s Josh Allen earlier in the first round.

“There were some teams — not all teams, but some teams — who rated him there,” Rapoport added. “The Steelers really loved him.”

Compared to last offseason when Roethlisberger was seriously contemplating retirement, Pittsburgh approached this year’s draft with less urgency at quarterback. Roethlisberger is reportedly interested in playing beyond 2018, and Josh Dobbs was drafted for the developmental role behind Landry Jones.

When a top-tier quarterback was still on the board early in the third round, however, Colbert simply couldn’t resist trading for an upgraded depth chart behind his aging face of the franchise.

Now that Rudolph is in the fold, either Dobbs or Jones will be out of job by Week 1.

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