Scouting Report: QB Spencer Rattler 6’1” 205 (Oklahoma)
Spring 2021 Report Film Exposure: (2020) Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Florida (Cotton Bowl)
A polished athletic quarterback with a strong arm who looks crisp and very decisive in the pocket. I could tell in the first two minutes of watching the film of him he had the look and feel of being a franchise QB. Rattler is very focused, determined, and cold looking in his eyes. Has an edge. Looks very alert and scans the field prior to the snap. He plays with a real sense of urgency – looks and plays hyper. I choose three of his most meaningful games to evaluate him from the 2020 game film to get the best representation possible of how he is in big games. He was decent in the Oklahoma State game, but great looking in the Iowa State and Florida games. I found myself saying, “Wow or damn,” several times. Showed a lot of fire, passion, and emotion in the end zone. Rattler is a tough cookie who gets it done. He is a gunslinger in every sense of the word.
Sometimes claps his hands for the snap. His movements are quick and sudden. Rattler is very athletic-looking while navigating around in the pocket. He showed he can slide around or roll out in either direction and effectively throw. Excellent play-action fake. Very good ball-handling skills. He showed he can actually hold a defender with his play-action. Good feel for the rush and he will stare down the barrel of an incoming defender and fire. He can also take off and run with his above-average-looking football-playing speed. The only downfall in the pocket is he tends to take sacks instead of throwing the ball away under heavy distress.
Rattler has good, but not great accuracy, touch, and placement short, intermediate and deep. Sometimes has a tendency to pat the ball pre-delivery (that showed more during the Oklahoma State game than the other two games) He can lock in with receivers, but he can also snap it off, turn at the last second and go another direction with the football. Showed he can also go through his reads and progressions. Tends to make very quick decisions. This is something that really stood out to me. Excels at throwing screens and when throwing downfield he can put some real mustard and zip on the ball. Rattler has a big-league arm. He can fire it in there. The one thing I noticed about Rattler is he does not throw what I call “receiver-friendly balls” a lot of the time – where receivers can just run through the catch and pick up additional yardage. I understand he is statistically completing these passes, but many times he is not giving his receivers a chance to pick up additional yards as a result of his throw. He has a tendency to throw high, to begin with where only his receivers can catch them or his receivers are sliding and diving for throws. At the same time, Rattler did not throw any interceptions in these three games and only had a couple of passes defended, so there seems to be a method to his madness. My main concern is his deep accuracy, placement, and touch. He hit some beauties, but he was also way off several other times in these games and threw somewhat behind his receivers as they had to adjust and turn back while in stride.
Rattler resonated with me. He looked and played the part and he has the arm, athleticism, football IQ and heart to be a big-time NFL QB.
I like what I see in him and I like what I see out of him. He looks dramatically better than any of the top three quarterbacks selected in the 2020 NFL draft. It is not even close. He is in the mold of Patrick Mahomes and out of the 2020 class – he reminds me most of QB Justin Fields (2020 11th overall – first round). Rattler’s 2020 stats espn.com (214/317, 67.5% CMP, 3,031 yards, 9.6 avg., 28 TD, 7 INT, long 61). Rattler also had an excellent high school career (Phoenix, AZ) where he completed 65% of his passes for 3,946 yards and 45 TD. Five-star recruit.
Where would I draft Spencer Rattler?
Daniel Kelly’s Draft Board: He is on my board top 10 (prior to 2021 season based on what I have seen so far).
Probability of being a bust: Low
If I were a GM, this is the question I need to be answered in my mind about Spencer Rattler: I would ask him, “How badly do you want to win the Super Bowl?”
My top 7 concerns about Rattler:
- Placement on deep passes (several attempts were off-target or somewhat behind his receiver even when they were complete).
- Threw 28 TD (ranking 8th in 2020) but 7 INT (tied for 86th in 2020).
- Sometimes pats the ball prior to delivery.
- Claps hands for snap (needs to rely on voice cadence only in the NFL).
- Operated exclusively out of shotgun formation (will need to operate under center in the NFL as well).
- Does not always throw the most receiver-friendly passes they can get additional yardage with or run through (placement very high or low).
- Tends to take sacks instead of throwing the ball away (big losses for an offense).
How NFL defenses will beat him: Heavy mix of blitzes from the edge and up the middle. Take away the screen game.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.
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