Rudock the new Brady? Not so fast

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
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Allen Park — The connection is obvious even if the comparison is ridiculous.

Like another former Michigan quarterback, Tom Brady, Jake Rudock went in the sixth round of the draft. But, shortly after the Lions selected Rudock on Saturday, both he and general manager Bob Quinn said it would be wrong to project for Rudock a future resembling Brady’s career.

“I’ve heard people just saying same round, but I don’t think there’s any near comparison between me and him,” Rudock said. “He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest of all time, so I’m just fortunate to be in the same sentence, let alone anything farther than that. That’s all everyone else’s speculation.”

Quinn was in New England the past 16 years, arriving a few months before the Patriots drafted Brady in 2000.

“I know there’s a little parallel there, but this isn’t the same conversation,” Quinn said.

Brady, who’s won four Super Bowls with the Patriots, was the 199th pick in 2000, and Rudock was the 191st pick this year, but there are some parallels beyond being former Michigan quarterbacks drafted in the first round.

Brady arrived in the eighth season of an established quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick, Drew Bledsoe. Lions starter Matthew Stafford was the first pick in 2009 and is entering his eighth season.

Of course, to make a prognostication that Rudock could one day become Brady, it would require the expectation that Stafford will suffer a serious injury in 2017 and that he’ll be off the team in 2018. Obviously, nobody in the Lions organization is hoping such a scenario unfolds.

Instead, the expectation for Rudock is that he’ll compete with Dan Orlovsky for the backup job, and if he proves to be a better option than Orlovsky, it’ll be a solid pick. If he doesn’t, there will be questions about why the Lions went with a local prospect when other quarterbacks like Jeff Driskel, Brandon Allen and Brandon Doughty were available.

Quinn said he doesn’t have a preference with regards to keeping two or three quarterbacks on the roster, so even if the team trusts Orlovsky more for 2016, Rudock could still stick with the team.

One thing that Quinn said helped attract the Lions to Rudock was his experience playing in a pro-style system compared to other quarterbacks with limited experience under center.

“I thought he was extremely smart,” Quinn said. “I thought he was very composed. I thought he was very accurate. He played in a pro-style system, which was good to see, and I thought he had a really good workout for us here a couple weeks back.”

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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