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Mel Kiper Jr. on Spencer Rattler: 'When he's got his best stuff, he is really good'

On3 imageby:Sam Gillenwater03/31/24

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QB Spencer Rattler
Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports

We’re all very aware of the quarterback class in the 2024 NFL Draft at this point. However, Spencer Rattler, one that’s past the top of that pack, is one that can have value if he brings his best to the table according to Mel Kiper Jr..

Kiper spoke about Rattler’s game during ‘First Draft’ with Field Yates last week. He noted how, as is known about Rattler, there’s high highs and low lows to what he showed in college at both South Carolina and Oklahoma. There’s aspects that you won’t like but still clear talent there that, at his peak, is something that teams could talk themselves into.

“You see evidence when you watch this kid play that he is not Caleb Williams. Spencer Rattler is Spencer Rattler,” Kiper said. “(Rattler) has games where he looks like a first-round pick. He has games where he looks like a late-rounder, free agent-type quarterback. He has some head-scratching throws, precise passing at times is a little off. When he’s on, when he has got his best stuff? He is really good.”

“I went and watched games last night. Mississippi State, the Florida game, Vanderbilt – there were games where he was on target, he was lighting it up. He was outstanding. Now, you talk about letting it rip, seeing it and letting it rip? When he does that, he is at his best. He is competitive, he has got the quick release,” said Kiper. “He has a lot of things working for him.”

The question from there is whether or not wants to spend the time to develop Rattler. If he stays similar to the player that he is now, he may just be another late-round quarterback who doesn’t make it in the league. If a franchise takes their time with him, though, Kiper wonders if he could end up meeting the expectations that many once had for him and his career.

“You say, ‘Okay, well, there’s going to be some question marks when you’re a third, fourth-round pick’ right? Well, Spencer Rattler is not the first-round pick that we thought, at one point, he could be,” Kiper said. “So, for where he’s going to go, can you roll the dice on a kid who can spin it, has had moments where he has looked like an early-round pick? Coach him up to make that more consistent?”

“If you can do that in the third, fourth round? Maybe you end up with a Kirk Cousins, a Dak Prescott who were fourth-round draft choices. Who knows?” opined Kiper. “Or, like many other third, fourth-round quarterbacks over the last 60 years because I went back to basically 1960 when I looked at quarterbacks when I was born? There’s a lot of mistakes, a lot of busts. I wouldn’t say busts but guys that didn’t make it in the third, fourth, fifth round at quarterback. The ones that did are a very small number so you’ve got to get the right guy.”

There will likely be at least six quarterbacks, if not more, off the board before Rattler in this NFL Draft. Still, after that, he has the flashes that could be what wins a team over in taking him. The question now is which of those franchises feel as though that gamble on him would be worth it to them.

“Is it worth a roll of the dice for ‘The Rattler’? I think it is,” Kiper said.