Saints’ Spencer Rattler not phased after plummeting in NFL Draft

In the volatile world of the NFL Draft, few stories encapsulate the emotional rollercoaster quite like that of Spencer Rattler, the new addition to the New Orleans Saints. Selected 150th overall in the fifth round, Rattler’s journey through collegiate football and into the professional ranks has been anything but smooth. Despite the setbacks, including a significant drop in draft stock, Rattler exhibits a resilient spirit and readiness to embrace the adversities of the NFL – per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith.


Before delving into his journey, it’s crucial to understand the tumultuous path that led him to this point. During his college career, Rattler experienced both highs and significant lows, which have prepared him for the challenges of football at the NFL level. He faced a major career obstacle while at Oklahoma, where he was benched in favor of Caleb Williams. This setback forced Rattler to transfer to South Carolina, a move he now views as a formative experience.

“I think it helps me coming into this level, being able to experience a little adversity early on in my college career,” Rattler stated. “As a quarterback at this level, you’re going to experience adversity whether you want it or not. So, I think having success, having adversity, that helps shape you as a player and person. I wouldn’t change a thing about college. I’m ready for the next step. I know I’m prepared.”

Despite the setback of watching six quarterbacks being picked in the first 12 selections of the draft, Rattler’s attitude remains unshaken. His ability to overcome adversity at Oklahoma and subsequently prove his mettle at South Carolina speaks volumes about his mental toughness and adaptability—traits that are indispensable at the NFL level.

Rattler’s journey is not just a tale of overcoming professional setbacks but also a narrative about personal growth. Initially a high school phenom from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona, Rattler was one of the most sought-after quarterback prospects in the nation. ESPN and Rivals both heralded him as a top recruit, a dual-threat quarterback capable of changing the dynamics of any game with both his arm and his legs.

However, his transition from high school stardom to college prominence was not seamless. At Oklahoma, his career began promisingly as he took over the starting role in 2020. Rattler showed flashes of brilliance that justified his high recruitment ratings, demonstrating a strong arm, quick decision-making, and the ability to extend plays. Unfortunately, inconsistency in performance and off-the-field issues soon marred his burgeoning career.

What Went Wrong With Spencer Rattler?

Spencer Rattler combine

Known for his swagger and confidence, Rattler’s demeanor often broached the boundaries and turned into unbearable arrogance, which didn’t always sit well with teammates and coaches. Reports of his clashes with coaching staff and a perceived lack of leadership qualities started to surface. His on-field decisions sometimes mirrored this cockiness, leading to costly turnovers that drew criticism from fans and analysts alike.

This tumult came to a head midway through the 2021 season when he was benched in favor of Williams. This demotion, while a significant blow, forced Rattler to reevaluate his approach to the game and his attitude. His subsequent move to South Carolina was a chance for redemption—a fresh start in a new environment, under new guidance, and with a new team relying on his arm and leadership.

At South Carolina, Rattler took strides in maturing both as a player and as a person. His gameplay became more measured; his interactions with teammates and media, more humble and team-oriented. The arrogance that once defined him was now replaced with a more grounded and focused demeanor, attributes that culminated in a respectable season with the Gamecocks.

Reflecting on his past, Rattler acknowledges the role that his personality played in his collegiate struggles. “You learn a lot about yourself when things don’t go your way. It’s easy to be a leader when you’re winning and everything’s going right. The true test is how you handle the tough times,” Rattler shared in a pre-draft interview.

As he prepares to embark on his NFL career with the Saints, Spencer Rattler’s journey through adversity could indeed be the best preparation for the rigors of professional football. The NFL is a league where setbacks are commonplace and mental fortitude is as crucial as physical skill. For Rattler, his past experiences, both good and bad, have forged a resilience that will be tested at the highest level of football.

With a mindset recalibrated by past trials and a potential that has never been in question, Spencer Rattler is poised to prove that his fifth-round selection isn’t a measure of his potential but merely the starting point of his professional saga. In New Orleans, Rattler doesn’t just find a new team; he finds a new opportunity to redefine his legacy, leaving behind the shadows of his past and stepping into a future filled with possibility.

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