Nearly every early 2022 NFL mock draft had Spencer Rattler as the top pick. He entered the season as the top quarterback in the country with the best situation possible. What no one expected was the dropoff he would experience. It looked as if he was a completely different player.
Rattler looked erratic and inconsistent compared to the calm and calculated player we saw in 2020. 2021 was the worst year of football in his life. We saw him lose his starting job and then his head coach. Rattler looks for a fresh start.
From Netflix to the Transfer Portal
Spencer Rattler was the top-rated quarterback in 2019 and the 11th overall player that year on top of it all. Expectations were very high that year, especially considering who was ranked behind him. Players like Kaiir Elam, Travon Walker, and Charles Cross were all behind him, and they turned into first-round picks this past April. He was highly touted enough to be on Netflix’s inaugural season of QB1. Netflix followed his high school career and showed him off the field. The latter was not kind to him.
People chalked up those antics to being a young kid and that being coached by Lincoln Riley would straighten him out. After all, Baker Mayfield was able to stay the course and win a Heisman Trophy under him.
His first year as the starter would be 2020, a year not kind to many athletes, but Rattler found his way. He would rack up 3,031 yards while throwing 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions. A great first year for Rattler, but sadly his second year leading the Sooners wouldn’t be the same. The ups and downs he experienced cost him the starting job. Caleb Williams would take it from him, leaving Rattler looking for somewhere else to find his footing in his football life.
What You See When Watching Him
One thing that has shined through for Spencer Rattler through all the ups and downs was his arm. His arm strength shows, whether it is pushing it downfield or using his velocity for tight-window throws. Especially when throwing a deep ball, his upper body mechanics and release allow him to get more out of it. His lower body mechanics leave something to be desired, but coaching can fix that. His new team South Carolina has some unique weapons on offense like Jaheim Bell and Austin Stogner. Look for him to push the ball downfield to both those guys but especially the hybrid in Bell.
Despite losing his job and his ups and downs, Rattler never lost his confidence. Even when teammates dropped passes, or he had turnovers, he never stopped taking chances. That short-term memory with a quarterback is special, yes, it can drive you crazy as a fan, but as a coach, that’s tough to come by. If he can keep that confidence in the SEC, he may have some tough days, but the work is unmatched.
Spencer Rattler finds himself in South Carolina, but he has some help. His former position coach Shane Beamer is the head coach there. He left Oklahoma before 2021. The thought remains that Beamer can get the most out of Rattler. Doing so in the SEC will be interesting, though.
We may have something if he can muster anything close to what he did in 2020. No matter what, though, the SEC is about to show us who and what Spencer Rattler is. Will he be a Joe Burrow who transferred to LSU or Tate Martell who transferred to Miami?