University of Iowa quarterback Drew Tate is entering the National Football League Draft following his senior season. After some fairly high expectations, the Hawkeyes finished a disappointing 6-7 during the right-handed passer's final season. Tate's college career ended on a sour note, but he was a widely respected signal-caller at Iowa. Now Tate turns to the professional game, where acknowledgements may be much more difficult to come by for him.
Tate started at quarterback for the Hawkeyes starting in his sophomore season, in which he passed for 2,786 yards, 20 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 62.1 completion rate. Tate followed that season with an even better junior campaign. That year, 2005, he passed for 2,828 yards, 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 62.2 percent completion percentage.
Tate's draft stock was considered much higher after his junior year, but Tate instead decided to stay in school. That decision may have been a costly one. Tate regressed considerably in his senior year, passing for 2,623 yards, 18 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 58.8 completion percentage.
Tate has long been known as an avid competitor. He relies on his instincts a great deal, a trait that usually benefits him and allows him to be an overachiever. As well, Tate is a very intellectual athlete. He has a great work ethic and has a reputation for being a tough player.
Tate is extremely accurate on short-range routes. He has good timing and touch
on his passes. One attribute that could significantly help Tate is his reputation
as a vocal leader. At a time when injuries are rampant in the NFL
and the average backup quarterback, which it's presumed is what Tate would be,
is a snap away from playing time, players like Tate can be an asset. He could
be able to step in and immediately command respect.
While not the fastest player available, Tate does have scrambling ability and will not be labeled "immobile." Finally, Tate's three years of starting experience should benefit him.
Tate's size could be a deterrent for many teams. He is 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, which is not exactly the ideal size for an NFL quarterback. While he doesn't have a weak arm, he doesn't throw a very good deep ball.
Tate has average athleticism. He runs the 40-yard dash in the low 4.8s to the 4.9s. With little speed to compensate for his lack of height, he doesn't possess the ability to make things happen with his legs, either.
He can make poor decisions while trying to overcompensate for his team's deficiencies, as he did last year. Injuries have been a slight concern with Tate. He has poor vision and overall limited upside.
Tate has limited potential, or so the scouting reports say. He could easily be an average prospect that may only play a limited number of games in his career. Supposedly average prospects have succeeded before, however.
Nevertheless, Tate is a long shot to make an impact and will likely be selected on the second day of the draft, if at all. He would benefit most from being selected by a team with a strong offensive coaching staff for him to learn from. One report has the New England Patriots possibly considering him toward the end of the draft. That would be an ideal situation for Tate, but at that stage of the draft, any number of teams are a possible destination for the former Hawkeye.
About Ryan Rich
Ryan Rich has been a KFFL contributor since 2006.
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