If you want to buy the Spencer Rattler NFL Draft stock, now is the time to do it. Really, January was the time to do it since Rattler’s status on draft boards is already on the rise. On February 3, he won MVP of the Reese’s Senior Bowl with 100% accuracy and a deep touchdown down the left sideline. The more opportunities Rattler gets to display his on-field abilities, the better. The knocks on him were never physical, as he is naturally gifted as an overall athlete and a thrower of the football. However, his mental strides while at South Carolina showed in the Senior Bowl and will continue to impress NFL Scouts as workouts and April 25th approaches.
Senior Bowl Buzz
Rattler had a great week leading into the game. He was pictured carrying a title belt naming him the best quarterback on his team throughout practice. However, practice players don’t always translate to game pressure. That’s not the case with Rattler. Although he only got two series and threw only four passes, Rattler was perfect during the game. His MVP title further solidified what Gamecock fans have seen for two seasons. The decision-making improvements while in Columbia, specifically in 2023, have allowed Rattler to maximize his physical gifts. The Phoenix, AZ native displays great poise in the pocket, on the sidelines, and in front of the microphone. Rattler, ironically, never gets rattled. He plays with confidence and swagger, but not so much that it melts into unbridled arrogance as it did during his Netflix reality series days. Rattler’s maturity continues to show itself. That will go a long way towards clearing up any doubts that NFL scouts may have had about him.
Senior Bowl MVP is, of course, not a direct indicator of NFL success. However, of the last ten MVP’s, eight were quarterbacks. Of those eight quarterbacks, three are starters in the NFL. Justin Herbert (2020), Daniel Jones (2019), and Dak Prescott (2016) represent the most success that Senior Bowl MVPs have experienced over the last decade. Can Rattler follow in their footsteps? His natural ability will never cease to stand out. As the number one pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, Rattler was also the MVP of the Elite 11 Quarterback Competition. Success is nothing new for him; the moments ahead won’t be either.
Who’s Ahead of Rattler
The most tumultuous stretch of Rattler’s career thus far came amid competition with the projected number one overall pick, Caleb Williams. The drama that unfolded in benching Rattler in favor of the then-freshman Williams was not pretty. Now, the two quarterbacks are in a position to be compared once again. Williams, a Heisman Trophy winner, is considered a generational quarterback by NFL Draft analysts. Behind him, Drake Maye (UNC) and 2023 Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels (LSU) round out the top three quarterback prospects in the 2024 draft class. They could easily be taken with picks one, two, and three. Then, the water gets a bit muddy.
Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Bo Nix (Oregon), and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) are hot names in this quarterback class. However, Rattler falls in that tier as well. Penix has a funky release and a history of injuries. Nix played in a one-read system that didn’t challenge him the way a pro-style offense will. McCarthy just won the National Championship but lacks the elite passing ability of a guy like Rattler. Rattler competed against Penix and Nix all week at Senior Bowl practice and was more impressive in that sample than both of the West Coast stars.
Draft Experts on Rattler
Former NFL Scout Daniel Kelly, who now runs First Round Mock, has Rattler rated as the number one quarterback in the draft. First Round Mock tracked release times and noted Rattler’s release is faster than anyone else in this group. Kelly’s colleague at FRM, William Yanish, said Rattler is “the most Mahomes-like prospect since Mahomes.” Pro Football Network lists him as a “priority target on Day 2,” which would indicate a high second-round pick. That could also translate as a top-five quarterback in this class.
The second round is where Rattler should be taken. In all likelihood, he will go behind not only Williams, Maye, and Daniels but also Penix and Nix. The draft order doesn’t determine NFL success; see Brock Purdy in the Super Bowl. Rattler may very well have the second-best career of the 2024 NFL Draft class.