Draft Prospect – Golden Tate (WR)

I’ve heard a lot of people raving about the WRs that will be coming out for the 2011 draft, but I think this year, if there’s a run on receivers, there’s 5 or 6 guys you could justify taking in the first round if you have a need there. The Patriots are one of those teams with a need at WR. Randy Moss isn’t getting any younger, Wes Welker almost certainly won’t be fit for the start of next season, and Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman are the only others on the roster. If the Pats do choose to take a WR at #22, Notre Dame WR Golden Tate might just be there.

Tate is 5-11, 195 lbs and is listed as running a 4.44 but I always wait for the combine to compare those times, because everybody’s on a level playing field there. You should definitely look at some of the YouTube highlights of this kid (there’s a good one here). He’s a consistent catcher, but not always a “hands catcher”. He sometimes lets the ball hit his chest, but once he’s got it, he runs like a running back after the catch. He’s not as tall as you’d like for a #1 wide receiver, but the Patriots still have a couple of years with Moss, so he could be a good number #2 in this system with Welker/Edelman in the slot. If Tate’s on the board at 22, he’s got to be a temptation for Bill Belichick, but if he’s not, I’d wait til the 2nd round to target a WR.

With Tate’s yards after the catch, you wonder how much he inflated Jimmy Clausen‘s stats, but that’s for another blog post…

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