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Steelers 2-a-days: Mark Robinson an intriguing draft pick; will Mason Rudolph stick on roster? – TribLIVE

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Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2022 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly-alphabetical order, two per day, between June 11 and July 25. Contract data courtesy
Experience: Rookie
Contract status: $733,089 cap hit in 2022, signed through 2025
2022 outlook: Robinson went from FCS running back to NFL linebacker draft pick. He played on defense for one season at Presbyterian College and two seasons at Southeast Missouri before transferring to Ole Miss as a walk-on and being asked to switch to defense. The results was production so outstanding in 2021 that he was taken with a seventh-round pick by the Steelers.
Seventy-nine of Robinson’s 92 tackles last season came over his final nine regular-season games. Though at 5-foot-11, Robinson lacks ideal size his “late bloomer” status made him a lottery ticket worth taking a flier on in the seventh round for the Steelers. He also figures to be a good fit on special teams.
But can Robinson fit into a position group that includes starters Myles Jack and Devin Bush, returning veteran backups Robert Spillane and Marcus Allen, and second-year former fourth-round pick Buddy Johnson, among others? It won’t be an easy task to make the 53-man roster, that’s for sure.
A position switch from running back to linebacker turned out to be a seminal moment for #Steelers rookie Mark Robinson.
— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) May 24, 2022

Experience: 5th season
Contract status: $4.04 million cap hit in 2022, after which scheduled for unrestricted free agency
2022 outlook: Rudolph joked that the only reason he spent time as No. 1 on the Steelers quarterback depth chart this spring was that nobody else was on the roster at quarterback. While that technically wasn’t true, it was crystal clear by the Steelers’ actions over the offseason that they did not see Rudolph as a future starter for them.
The hits against Rudolph kept coming. First, it was coach Mike Tomlin shortly after last season ended grouping him with Dwayne Haskins in lieu of anointing Rudolph even temporary status as QB1 in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement. Then, the Steelers wasted no time in targeting one of the top quarterbacks on the free-agent market, signing Mitch Trubisky just hours into unrestricted free agency.
Then, the Steelers drafted a quarterback in the first round (Kenny Pickett). Then, they selected another quarterback. Then, come organized team activities and minicamp, the coaching staff gave no illusions of a quarterback competition and instead gave Trubisky virtually all of the first-team reps.
Where does that leave Rudolph for 2022? Assuming there are no injuries and Trubisky and Pickett have solid training camps, it could potentially mean Rudolph won’t be on the roster by the time the season opens Sept. 11 in Cincinnati. But that’s no sure thing. Of course, injury or preseason ineffectiveness to or by Pickett or Trubisky could lead to an opportunity for Rudolph. But aside from that, if seventh-round pick Chris Oladokun doesn’t prove NFL ready in camp, Rudolph could be a useful part of the top three. It was only three years ago, after all, the Steelers learned firsthand how quickly a QB room can be decimated: Injuries to Roethlisberger and Rudolph and the early season trade of Josh Dobbs left undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges to start. So, count on Rudolph to — at least — make it to September with the Steelers.
Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .
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