Jake Rudock likely the odd man out of the Detroit Lions QB room

Detroit Lions, Jake Rudock (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions, Jake Rudock (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Lions quarterback room has one name in bright lights on the marquee. The veteran backup will beat out the young buck for a spot on the 53 man roster.

The Detroit Lions quarterback room only has one name that matters. Matthew Stafford is unquestionably the driver that steers the finely tuned machine designed by Jim Bob Cooter. The mystery is behind him if there is one.

Stafford is entering his tenth season as the face of the Lions franchise. He was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, and three years later he took the team to the playoffs, where they had not been since the 1990s.

The Lions have been unable to keep a steady group of talented players around Stafford. At times his weapons have been laughably bad. This year, the Lions have put an elite group of receivers and backs in place, and bolstered the line. If there were a season that Stafford could silence the few detractors remaining and take the Lions offense to an elite level, it is 2018.

Behind Stafford, Matt Cassel is the likely backup. He came onto the field second in 2/3 of the Lions preseason games to this point. He has been unspectacular, but also not terrible. He hits receivers in stride, and he makes safe decisions. His only interception hit the receiver in the hands.

Jake Rudock has been with the Lions for two years. He was originally a sixth-round pick in 2016. Unfortunately for Rudock, his time with the team is likely coming to an end. Rudock has put up better numbers than Cassel on paper. Anyone who hasn’t actually watched the games could be forgiven for thinking Rudock was winning this race.

Of course, if you just look at statistics, Rudock should be the starter. He has completed 24.3% more of his passes than Matthew Stafford, after all. He has gotten the ball out quick, not thrown an interception, and been sacked fewer times than Stafford or Cassel as a result. That is despite dropping back more than double the number of times Stafford has.

Unfortunately for Rudock, the coaches are going to watch the tape. When they do, they will see a relatively weak arm, and what looks like a terminal fear of pushing the ball downfield. Rudock has averaged only 5.1 yards per attempt against other team’s fourth-string defenses.

Lions interior O-line depth still in flux. dark. Next

Rudock has had a nice run for a camp arm. He made it two years in the NFL. He may even catch on somewhere with no halfway decent options on the bench. The Lions fortunes rest on the arm of Matthew Stafford. No other available option presents a workable solution for winning games.