Should Spencer Rattler Transfer or Enter the 2022 NFL Draft?

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Stephen Hatala

On September 4th, Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler trotted onto the field not only as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback, but also the top ranked quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, according to most draft analysts. Today is October 28, and Rattler isn’t even the top at the University of Oklahoma. Three weeks ago, Rattler was benched for Caleb Williams, a true freshman who hadn’t started a football game since 2019. Since then, Oklahoma has had Williams at the helm, while Rattler watches from the sidelines. Many believe Rattler will transfer to build his stock back up, but is that the answer? Should Rattler declare for the 2022 NFL draft? 

For starters, let’s take a look at the 2022 NFL QB class. The class appears to be shaky at best. Carson Strong and Matt Coral look to be the most pro-ready quarterbacks out of the group. Everyone after Strong and Coral possesses substantial risks for teams looking for a quarterback. As such, Rattler wouldn’t fall too far on draft boards for QB needy teams, if only because of this year’s paucity of draft-eligible quarterback prospects. On the other hand, if Rattler were to stay he’d potentially have to learn a new offense on the fly, and that could really backfire by exposing more flaws. Furthermore, he could hurt his stock more if where he goes isn’t a good fit. Rattler has luxury weapons at Oklahoma and the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. Not to say he couldn’t go elsewhere and have elite weapons, but how likely is it? More than likely, Rattler would be drafted within the first three rounds. He’d likely be a backup, which is basically equivalent to transferring. Most important, he’d get time to sit and learn behind a NFL starter along with NFL coaching

On the other hand, Rattler does have a couple of advantages if he chooses to transfer. Above all, he’d put another full year of film together for NFL front offices to evaluate. Outside of arm talent, Rattler doesn’t have any elite traits.

Another year could help him clean up his average traits and push to make them above average/good. Additionally, decision making is debatably Rattler’s biggest flaw, and if he could manage to improve it moving forward he could do himself some favors. Along with that, a new offense and more coaching could help strengthen his decision making. Fortunately for him, during the 2020 season, he appeared to be a solid decision maker, but not so much during the 2021 season.

Decision making as a passer is perhaps the most important skill for quarterbacks, so transferring and proving he can consistently be smartwith the ball would work wonders for him.

In today’s NFL, most teams are moving towards having more athletic quarterbacks who have the ability to make plays on the move. Unfortunately for Rattler, he isn't going to blow teams away athletically. However, he does show the ability to escape and pick up yards if necessary. Rattler’s elite arm talent and solid accuracy are his best traits. Most teams in today’s game want to stretch the field and push the ball down field with big plays. Therefore, elite arm talent will always have GMs and head coaches marveling. Regardless of which path he takes, he has a real chance to be solid at the next level. Now the lone question: What will he choose? Only time will tell.

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