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The Comeback Story Of Spencer Rattler

If you know me, you know I love a good comeback story. The focal point of today’s prospect profile is the epitome of a player who has seen the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows throughout his tumultuous college football career. That player, is South Carolina Gamecocks Quarterback, Spencer Rattler.


If you are new to this series, the purpose of these videos is to evaluate a player's strengths, areas to improve upon, scheme fit, team fits, pro comparison, and overall draft projection. 


STRENGTHS 


The 6’1, 217-pound quarterback split his five-year colligate career between three years at Oklahoma and two years at South Carolina. Compiling 77 passing touchdowns and almost 11,000 passing yards, while averaging 8.3 yards per attempt over his career.


He improved his PFF passing grade to a 72.5 mark this past year. Rattler was also ninth among FBS quarterbacks in 2023 with a 79.4% adjusted completion rate, which shows how improved his accuracy had become. He compounded his bounce-back season with a strong performance last week at the Senior Bowl, winning the game’s MVP award after completing all four of his passes for 65 yards and a perfectly placed touchdown.


Spencer Rattler is a naturally talented and gifted passer with high-end NFL arm talent. He can drive passes with ease into tight windows. His level of arm strength gives him access to all areas of the football field. Rattler’s arm talent can stress man-to-man and zone coverages. He can thread the needle effortlessly versus zone coverage.


Rattler can fire far hash to far sideline passes on a rope. Off play-action, he can push the ball deep down the field for designated vertical shots. Rattler is a plus-athlete who can extend plays with his legs to create second-reaction throws. He displays adequate improvisational skills to evade pressure and gain yards with his legs quickly, all while not being the fastest. The lack of stability in his offensive line forced Rattler to be comfortable extending the play with his legs.


Rattler has flashed the ability to layer passes with arc and touch over near defenders. He throws a nice catchable jump ball and back-shoulder fades with just the right amount of touch to drop into the bucket. He has a smooth and efficient throwing motion that does not have much wasted movement at all.


He can quickly get the ball out of his hands if the defense forces him to. When protected, Rattler can win from the pocket and within the structure or the confines of the offense. Throughout his collegiate career, Rattler’s pocket confidence has grown tenfold. 


WEAKNESSES


Now Rattler, like every other draft prospect, comes with his fair share of weaknesses and areas he can improve upon. One thing that’s pretty frustrating about Rattler’s game is his operational consistency. While he has steadily improved over the past two seasons, His situational precision can be improved upon at times.


Rattler’s pocket habits can be unpredictable, and he’ll sometimes force poor decisions under pressure. Over the last two seasons, Rattler has vastly improved his processing skills, but the inconsistency remains. Even at the ripe old age of 24 at the time of his rookie season, coaching Rattler to focus on ball security and making the right decisions will be paramount for his development. 


Rattler has the arm talent to overcome being slightly late on throws but this should not become a habit while heading into the NFL. He will hang in the pocket too long when pressured and risk getting sacked. Sensing the pressure quicker and escaping affords more opportunity out of the structure to make the best available play. I would like to see Rattler improve upon this going forward. 


SCHEME FIT


In terms of a scheme fit for Spencer Rattler, ideally, I would like to see Rattler in an offense that spreads the field. This would allow Rattler to operate out of the shotgun, or even the pistol. Once viewed more as a traditional pocket passer, Rattler is certainly capable of creating positive plays with his legs as well. I can see Rattler operating many Offensive Schemes at a high level. 


TEAM FITS


New York Jets: The long-term outlook of the Jets Quarterback situation looks very bleak. I can’t think of many other Quarterbacks I’d rather learn from than Aaron Rodgers.


New York Giants: I’ll be honest with you, unless Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye falls to the Giants, I don’t see them taking a quarterback in the first round, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take one later though. 


Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers Quarterback room is pretty gross right now. I’m not going to lie, I think Rattler could walk into that room and automatically be the starting quarterback. 


Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have a young, very talented team with no long-term quarterback on the roster, I could see Rattler backing up Geno Smith for a year. 


Las Vegas Raiders: As of right now, it doesn’t seem like the Raiders have any serious intentions of moving up in round 1 for a quarterback. Aidan O’Connell is cool for now, but I think Rattler's natural [passing ability would do wonders for that offense. 


PRO COMPARISON 


My Pro Comparison for Spencer Rattler is Baker Mayfield. Mayfield and Rattler are similar in they will wow you with some tremendous throws with incredible arm strength, but also leave you scratching your head with some decision-making. Rattler and Mayfield are almost identical in size, just not built. They both come from a similar colligate background and have quite the same “athletic but not a runner” feel about their style of play. 


DRAFT PROJECTION


Overall, I think the best decision Spencer Rattler ever made for his career was moving to South Carolina. Rattler has become more humble and has persevered through adversity to rebuild his draft stock. I think Rattler has first first-round upside to his game, but he has far too many inconsistencies on tape to warrant a top-50 selection.


With a good coaching staff, I believe a team will take a chance on him to try and mold him into a franchise quarterback. I believe Spencer Rattler will be a late second to early third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.



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