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Marino | Examining the Mason Rudolph to James Washington Connection

DEC 29 Alamo Bowl - Oklahoma State v Colorado
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Marino | Examining the Mason Rudolph to James Washington Connection

To the surprise of some and the delight of Oklahoma State fans, both quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington opted to return to Stillwater for their senior seasons.

The Rudolph to Washington combination is among the most productive in college football and a big season should be store.

Washington and Rudolph compliment each other perfectly. Rudolph excels at pushing the ball vertically down the field and delivering touch throws. Washington is a crisp route runner that knows how to create separation and attacks the football in the air with an alpha mentality at the catch point.

The result is a prolific passing duo where Rudolph is averaging 9.1 yards per attempt and completing 62.3% of his passes for his career which is an impressive number considering how often he challenges the deep portions of the field. Washington has eclipsed 1,000 yards in back-to-back season and averaging just under 20 yard per reception for his career.

The duo wins in a variety of ways and challenges all three levels of the field. Let’s examine how and why they are so successful.

This first clip is a good example of how Rudolph trusts Washington against man coverage – and he should. The corner has  no help over top so his primary focus was not getting beat deep.

On the same page, Rudolph drops the ball into space and believes that Washington will make the proper adjustment which he does. Washington wins the rep early with footwork and explosion up the field to force the corner to open his hips to turn and run.

This rep is a great example of Rudolph’s touch and ball placement to perfectly drop the ball into a favorable place for Washington to go get it. Washington does a terrific job of positioning his frame to come down with the football and he hauls the pass in with a “my ball” mentality.

Again, Washington dictates the corner with footwork in his release.

Because the duo is such a lethal combination to push the ball vertically, it allows for plays like this. Here we have a soft corner and it’s a simple comeback route where there is plenty of space to execute the throw because the defenses concern for the deep ball.

The timing of this play is spot on and Washington does a terrific job of working back to the football and not waiting for it and allowing the coverage to close in to make it a contested situation. This rep also shows off the physical components Washington offers after the catch.

The rep truly illustrates the timing and connection that Rudolph and Washington have.

Notice that Rudolph commits to this throw when Washington is about 7-yards into his stem for a ball that is caught 24 yards down the field.

Another hookup between the two where Rudolph delivers the ball with accuracy and touch and Washington showcases his skills to track the football, adjust his body and haul in a contested catch.

In case you didn’t think these guys worked the middle of the field, here you go. With the rush closing in, Rudolph wisely slides his feet to alter the defensive tackles aiming point and delivers a dart that hits Washington in stride across the middle of the field.

From there, Washington shows his elusive and explosive traits with the ball in his hands.

Washington routinely finds ways to get behind the secondary and Rudolph knows how to exploit it. This rep illustrates Rudolph’s deep touch/accuracy and Washington’s skills to separate down the field.

Rudolph leads Washington into space and Washington knows how to track the football and finish.

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Joe Marino

Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. A member of the FWAA, Marino writes about the NFL, College Football and NFL Draft for FanRag Sports.

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