- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Jake Rudock seems to have landed in a good spot with the Detroit Lions.

The former Michigan quarterback, though, refuses to look at it that way.

“I’ve learned never to get too comfortable playing football,” Rudock said Thursday. “You just can’t fall into that because then you start getting satisfied with where you are. … We just had some meetings, and I’m trying to be the best I can at meetings.”

And that sounded like something Jim Harbaugh would say.

The Michigan coach and former QB had one season to mentor Rudock, and both seemed to make the best of it.

Rudock, a graduate transfer from Iowa, became the second player in school history to throw for 3,000-plus yards and completed a Big Ten-best 64 percent of his passes. Harbaugh was able to pick a starter and stick with him all year.

“Tough as a $2 steak doesn’t do it real justice,” Harbaugh said last season. “He has been a godsend for our football team.”

When the Lions invited Rudock to make the 30-minute drive from Michigan’s campus to team headquarters, he impressed Lions general manager Bob Quinn with his arm and mental makeup.

“When I sat down with Jake, I really saw a passionate football guy that is very smart, very attentive,” Quinn said after the draft.

“When we worked him out, I really came away impressed about how he threw the ball. The big thing about the evaluation of the quarterback position is it’s one of the hardest things for scouts and coaches to evaluate arm strength on film.”

Rudock was drafted in the sixth round by Quinn, who was in his first months with the New England Patriots when they selected Tom Brady, a signal caller from the same school in the same round in 2000.

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

No one is suggesting Rudock is the next Brady, but he has value to the Lions because of his experience as a drop-back passer, accurate arm and intelligence that will likely lead to him being a pediatrics doctor when his playing career is over.

Matthew Stafford is clearly Detroit’s quarterback in 2016 and the near future and yet the franchise is looking for a player to develop at the pivotal position.

“I think it’s good football business to take a quarterback probably every other year, depending on who you have on your roster,” Quinn said.

Dan Orlovsky, drafted by Detroit in the fifth round in 2005 and in his second stint with the team, could potentially be replaced by Rudock if Quinn decides to have just two QBs and opts to keep the younger one.

For now, Rudock is simply trying to grasp as much of the playbook as he can before training camp begins this summer. He is learning his third set of plays in three years after playing at Iowa, transferring to Michigan and getting drafted by the Lions.

Playing for Harbaugh, he hopes will give him an edge.

“A lot of the concepts - pass game, run game - very similar,” Rudock said. “Obviously, having run a pro system was very helpful. The terminology has changed. While concepts may remain the same, there’s still a lot to learn and defenses are a little more complex. I’ve got to catch up on all that.”

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Follow Larry Lage at https://www.twitter.com/larrylage

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