Golden Tate- Notre Dame
Pro Comparison: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
Projected Round: Late 1st-Early 2nd
Scout: Eric Loomis
Vision: Tate possesses tremendous vision in the open field. Very adept at finding cutback lanes when running with the football. Easily identifies soft spots in zone coverage and sees his running lanes well. Plays like a running back once he gets his hands on the ball.
Speed: Top end speed is not elite, but is above average. Possesses an elite first step and his explosiveness out of his break allows him to outrun defenders despite not possessing elite straight line speed. Has great “football speed.”
Agility: Shows the ability to be a very shifty runner in space. Possesses good hips and a very fluid stride. Lateral movement allows him to slip out of tacklers and cut on a dime.
Blocking: Flashes the ability to throw a solid block in the running game occasionally, but does not do it consistently. Seems to not have much of an interest in blocking downfield. This must be improved upon.
Body Control: Has the ability to make plays on the sideline at the NFL level. Tate shows the ability to adjust to balls in the air and to out play defenders for the ball, but at times needs to work harder at getting through the defender to make the play.
Hands: Tate possesses very strong hands. Has shown the ability to make the catch while taking the hit, but is not always consistent. Seems to lose focus at times leading to drops. Occasionally lets the ball get into his body when he should use his hands to make the catch.
Release: Does well fighting through the jam despite his size. Possesses tremendous explosion off the line allowing him to fight through press coverage and get deep. His first step forces defenders to play off him or put the defense in a situation where help is needed over the top.
Route Running: Route running needs to be improved. Has a tendency to round off the top of his routes at times. Needs to work back to the ball better. Certain routes look sloppy at times.
Technique: Tate is still learning the position as he played RB in high school and has only been a receiver for three years. Shows the ability be fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game, but needs to do it more consistently.
Final Word: Golden Tate has the potential to be an elite playmaker and a game breaker at the NFL level. His ability to run after the catch and to break tackles makes him a threat to go for 6 points every time he touches the ball. His versatility is unmatched by any other receiver in this class, however he is not without faults. His attitude currently leaves something to be desired in that he seems to give up on plays that aren’t too him and gets down if things aren’t going his way. He definitely has the swagger and cockiness of the modern day elite receiver and if he can get his talents to perform as consistently as his mouth does, the sky is the limit.