Falcons: Spencer Rattler rising up draft boards after Senior Bowl

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 03 Reese s Senior Bowl

The Falcons have seemingly ignored the quarterback position since the departure of Matt Ryan, and their middling results are a direct correlation to the poor play under center. It’s something that has to be fixed this offseason, and it would behoove the Falcons to take multiple cracks at finding their next franchise quarterback.

The draft is the best option. Finding a quarterback on a rookie contract is a cheat code in the NFL, allowing the front office to build an All-Star roster around a young signal caller on a cheap deal. The Falcons should move mountains in an attempt to acquire Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels, but that may not be possible if they go one, two, three in the draft.

That would leave Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris with the next crop of quarterbacks to choose from, featuring Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr, and J.J. McCarthy. It shouldn’t shock anybody if the Falcons fall in love with one of those names and take him in the first round, but a quarterback that appears to be gaining steam during the early part of the draft process is South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler, who dazzled during the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Coming out of high school, many expected Spencer Rattler to turn into the next Heisman Trophy winner for Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma, parlaying that success into being the first overall pick in the draft after three years in college. But sometimes the football gods have a different plan.

Spencer Rattler had a successful season as a redshirt freshman, tossing for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions. However, the following year brought about a lot of adversity, as he would go on to be benched in favor of freshman sensation Caleb Williams, the projected #1 overall pick in this year’s draft. As Riley left for USC, Rattler chose to transfer to South Carolina, where he’s impressed a lot of people over the last two years.

The Gamecocks offense wasn’t nearly as efficient as the one Rattler was featured in at Oklahoma, especially this past season, as South Carolina featured one of the worst offensive lines in college football. Still, Rattler managed to complete 69% of his passes, and perhaps even more importantly, showcased a lot more maturity than he did during his early years at Oklahoma.

Rattler’s an intriguing prospect whose draft stock is extremely difficult to project. His attitude early on in his career was a glaring red flag, and the fact that he didn’t have the type of success most elite quarterbacks have had under Lincoln Riley didn’t help his case as an NFL prospect. With that being said, he appears much more mature than he was a few years ago, and there’s no doubting the upside he possesses because of his arm talent.

Outside of the first round, Spencer Rattler is a quarterback I expect the Falcons to be interested in on some level, but he may not make it that far if he continues to turn heads leading up to the draft. It will be interesting to see how teams view him as this process continues over the next several months. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up going ahead of quarterbacks like Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. come draft day.

Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire


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