2022 NFL Draft: The autumn of QB Spencer Rattler and why we should not examine him to Oklahoma’s previous No. 1 picks

We are able to study from the previous, however provided that we glance in the appropriate place. That was my try at a profound quote. I am going to clarify what I am getting at right here — it pertains to Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler. 

Many people vividly bear in mind Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts effortlessly working Lincoln Riley’s good scheme and producing with unprecedented effectivity. These recollections have been used as a segue to believing Rattler was merely “subsequent,” particularly after his spectacular redshirt freshman season in 2020. And, like Murray and Hurts, Rattler walked onto the Norman campus as a marquee quarterback recruit. 

However we simply collectively glossed over the “redshirt freshman” half. 

After all, every thing is instantaneous at present, and most of us have been conditioned — knowingly or not — to consider quick-hitting headlines inform the whole story. Subsequently, we noticed “productive Oklahoma quarterback” and instantly thought he was locked-in to being an early decide, and to many, No. 1 total was his likeliest vacation spot. 

Rattler took his first snap within the 2021 season at 20 years previous with solely 328 makes an attempt on his collegiate resume. And whereas Riley’s offensive genius and the abundance of four- and five-star surrounding expertise at Oklahoma can clear the runway for an ascension up draft boards, each quarterback’s totally different. If something, the creativity of Riley’s assault and the dynamic supporting forged the Sooners trot out each season are the components for a passer’s flaws to be fully missed due to the uncooked statistics virtually assured to be accrued. 

Now, do not get me unsuitable — Rattler is extraordinarily gifted. It is apparent on a number of the throws he makes each week. However Riley’s “Air Raid” system, one which options loads of intricate screens and fast passes, makes an attempt to “raid” defenses down the sphere with vertical routes. 

These long-ball connections have been the inspiration that made Mayfield, Murray, and Hurts so extremely thought to be prospects. Examine the share of makes an attempt every Oklahoma quarterback made no less than 20 yards down the sphere — one passer stands proud like a sore thumb. 

Proportion of cross makes an attempt 20+ yards downfield

Baker Mayfield, 2017


Kyler Murray, 2018


Jalen Hurts, 2019


Spencer Rattler, 2021


Placing distinction, proper? Rattler executes the simple, beneath, schemed-open stuff fairly properly. The sector-stretching, game-changing performs merely have not been there at what’s not too long ago develop into the “regular” Oklahoma price.

Solely 15 of Rattler’s 176 cross makes an attempt have gone 20 or extra yards down the sphere this season. To match the earlier charges of Mayfield, Murray, and Hurts, he would have wanted round 34 or 35 of these deep pictures. It is not like Rattler hasn’t linked on these throws; he hasn’t even been trying them. 

And his decision-making and communication with receivers have been like that of a, properly, redshirt sophomore quarterback. These important components of taking part in the place have lacked on virtually all of his interceptions. Keep in mind, Mayfield went on to begin two seasons after his redshirt sophomore yr at Oklahoma. By Hurts’ third yr within the Alabama program, he already had a pair of seasons of beginning expertise, was relegated to a backup function and was destined to switch to Oklahoma to get a full yr in Riley’s offense. 

Murray is clearly the exception to the rule, not the usual. Mayfield, Hurts and Rattler simply haven’t got his caliber of athletic talents. 

After all, Rattler is forward of the overwhelming majority of redshirt sophomore quarterbacks in faculty soccer. His standing because the No. 1 pro-style quarterback recruit within the nation in 2019 steered that will be the case. He is simply fallen wanting the “we have by no means seen this earlier than in faculty soccer historical past” effectivity requirements set through the Riley period. That is actually it. 

And now, in the event you sort “Spencer Rattler” into Twitter’s search, it autofills to “Spencer Rattler switch.” That is the world of faculty soccer we’re dwelling in. It is baffling how briskly every thing occurs at present. Simply over a month in the past, had you polled draft analysts throughout the web, Rattler would’ve gotten loads of votes because the 2022 No. 1 total decide. Now it is to the switch portal for him. 

Rattler’s extremely steep fall is a teachable second, like most issues in life. Do not scout the helmet. Not each spectacular redshirt freshman is sure to be chosen early within the following draft. Being “first” on a marquee prospect means nothing. Possibly Oklahoma’s offensive setting is just too comfortable.

Projecting a quarterback from faculty to the NFL is essentially the most difficult analysis in all of sports activities. And each quarterback consists of his personal distinctive psychological and bodily traits, even when he initially seems to be subsequent off the meeting line at a school soccer powerhouse.

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