Notre Dame Junior
PROS: Has good speed and can challenge defenses vertically. Has good burst and gets a nice release because of it. An explosive runner with the ball with his hands, showing strength and power to break tackles and has nice vision as a runner when working out of the wildcat. Makes a quick move upfield and dangerous in space. Has good, strong hands. Does good job on the jump balls because of his leaping ability and strength to make the grab in traffic.
CONS: At times can be a lazy route-runner. Body catches way too much. Shows almost no serious interest in blocking. Has a tendency to dance too much as a return threat and will take chances looking for the big play. Doesn't always show the best ball security with the ball in his hands. Is passionate, but there are times where it can border on too passionate.
OVERVIEW: Really emerged as their go-to option on offense due to injury to Michael Floyd early in the year, and responded with 93 catches (16.1 avg) and 15 touchdowns as a receiver. Added 186 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 punt return for a score. Averaged 20.7 yards on 44 career kickoffs and 11.0 on 26 total punt returns.
NFL FORECAST: Tate is more of a good athlete playing receiver than a natural receiver. Which is to be understood since he played running back mainly in high school, and it shows when he gets the ball in his hands. He's a big play threat, but I'm not sure he's ever going to be reliable go-to receiver. Instead he would make a very nice complementary option and a stellar third option for an offense in the slot. He's a player like Percy Harvin that you want to give him opportunities to make plays whether that's in the wildcat, slot receiver, or on returns. And there is some thinking that because he's fairly new to the WR position, in time with good coaching he can learn. But I don't see him developing, and I don't see him ever as a go-to option. BUt as a complement he can be like Wes Welker, Percy Harvin, or Reggie Bush as a versatile option to have that can cause a ton of matchup issues when he's lining up against inferior corners and/or safeties.
ATL FORECAST: He is one of the few wideouts in this class that I think can be an upgrade over Douglas in the slot. He's not as natural a receiver as Douglas is, but he's a more explosive playmaker that is tough and fast that would be hard for a more polished player like Douglas to keep off the field because of his versatility to make plays from a variety of positions. I think he could evenutally develop as an outside option that could replace Jenkins as a No. 2, but initially he would be a third option. He would be a valuable asset that if he can be coached up can be an effective starter, although I'm not sure he's going to be a consistent weapon. He'll shine in Atlanta when he faces weaker No. 2 corners as Roddy draws more of the No. 1 guys. But the difficulty teams have with matching up with him would be a major boost to the offense because he can make teams pay for doubling Roddy, something Jenkins does not do.
VALUE: I see Tate as a second round pick, but I do think a team that already has steady, go-to options in the passing game looking for a complementary and situational weapon on offense could be smart to take him at the end of the first.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
AFTER CATCH: 4.5
BODY CONTROL: 4.0
Scouting Reports for the 2010 NFL Draft prospects.
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