Xtra Point Football: NFL Draft Prospects: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. A Jets Fit?

Morning all.  I came across this article this morning on Notre Dame Wide Receiver Golden Tate on Xtra Point Football.  Just from the name alone I had to stop and read the article.  After reading it, I agreed on a lot of points in the article on how this kid can fit into the Jets offense.  The Jets can really increase their threat down field and really turn it up. The Jets have missed opportunites in the past to have an all around solid offense.  They would have either a good QB, running game, or good wide receivers.  They finally have the running game and QB situations in place.  They are so close to having a great wide receiving core they can not miss out.  This is a key to going back to the AFC Championship game and maybe the Super Bowl.  If they can keep Thomas Jones and a three back core, then there is no stopping the Jets.  They need to same depth at WR.  Edwards can not do it on his own.  Dustin Keller had a great rookie year and Jericho Cotchery was hampered by injuries.  The potential is there and Golden Tate can be a golden fit.

Golden may only be 5’11”, but wasn’t Wayne Chrebet a short receiver who stunned many?  Someone able to get his hands on the ball and make yards after the pass.  Same thing as Tate.  Tate was also a great high school running back rushing for over 200 yards his Junior year.  I read a couple more scouting reports on Tate and he looks like a great fit.  But the founder of XPF Mike Cardano thinks otherwise.  He thinks they already have a solid WR line up.  I disagree.  They need a stellar tandem on both sides of the field.  Braylon Edwards is primed to be one of those men.  He has the potential to be a great receiver.  Tate has the speed and agility to throw off the defense and make key catches.  Mike Cardano believes they already have enough depth at WR.  Although Brad Smith can do QB in the Wilcat, he can not be a running back,.  This is where Tate can come in.  You throw his back experience into their versiion of the Wildcat then you give Brian Shottenheimer more options to throw off the opposing defense.

Here is the article and Mike Cardano’s response to Golden Tate being looked at by the Jets.

Written by MC3 Sports Media
Friday, 19 February 2010 07:40

godentateThe college football season is over; withdrawals, depression, misery. Before you slip into an apathetic stupor for eight months, remember that the NFL Draft is just around the corner! From now until April’s NFL Draft, I will be profiling some of the more interesting prospects. I can’t promise that I’ll get to your favorite player, but if you’d like to see a certain player profiled, shoot us an email and let us know.

What a freakin’ sweet name ‘Golden Tate‘ is. I wonder if his given name had anything to do with his Irish commitment back in 2007.

Critics’ biggest knock against Tate has been his ability, or lack thereof, to separate from defenders. Draft Overlord Mel Kiper concurs. According to the South Bend Tribune, Kiper notes, “He didn’t separate from the [cornerbacks] on the initial routes. But he was great after the catch in the open field, running with the football.”

Separation or not, he showed that he has a knack for adjusting to the ball and making the catch with defenders around. Tate was quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s go to guy in 2009, even before and after fellow star wide receiver Michael Floyd was out with injury. He had at least 5 receptions in every game in 2009 except for two-blowouts against Nevada and Washington State. In an overtime win against Washington, Tate blew up, catching 9 passes for 244 yard including a 77 yard reception and a 67 yard touchdown reception.

Like Clausen, Tate played on NBC his entire career and was subjected to the scrutiny that comes from playing at one of the most storied programs ever. He’s also familiar with the pro style offense used by Charlie Weis. These factors likely make Tate more NFL ready than his peers; consider it usually takes three seasons for wide receivers to mature to the NFL game and this will only improve his draft stock.

Tate’s height is the bane of his draft stock according to some analysts. He’s 5’11 and while he won’t be the shortest receiver in the pros, he certainly won’t be the tallest either. He’ll have to use his quickness to get off the line against physical NFL corners.

Among his attributes heading into the draft, and mentioned by Kiper in the quote above, is his ability to run after the catch. Tate is a former running back, rushing for over 2,000 yards as a junior in high school, and is an experienced return man. His strong legs, quickness and ability to make cuts will make him a nightmare in the open field even against the faster, more disciplined NFL defenses.

The South Bend Tribune article mentions Tate’s 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine as important in deciding his eventual draft position. Kiper is quoted as saying, “To me, if he runs well, he could be a late-first-round pick. If he doesn’t, you’re talking about second or third round for Golden.” To some (I’m looking your way Al Davis), 40 times are everything. To others, they’re just measurements that don’t necessarily translate into production on the field.

He’ll likely be picked late in the first round-really the perfect spot to pick a receiver. It’s not that pro bowl caliber pass catchers haven’t gone in the top 10; it’s that so many busts and disappointments have gone so high. With wide receivers, talent sure plays out, but I’ll use the old credo that they depend on others to get them the ball.

The Jets are a popular choice to nab Tate in the latter part of the First Round. Questions surround whether Braylon Edwards will ever develop into the wide receiver the Jets hoped he would when they acquired him from Cleveland midseason. If he does wind up in New York, can you imagine the marketability a guy named Golden would bring in a city whose mayor dubbed Manhattan ‘Revis Island’ after their star cornerback? A billboard of Golden next to the Golden Arches in Times Square comes to mind.

XPF Founder and New York Jets fanatic Mike Cardano isn’t so sure.

“I actually don’t think the Jets will take a receiver that high. They are set with Jericho Cotchery as a possession receiver and I think that they think Braylon Edwards can be ‘the guy’, especially with a full year of training camp.  Something that often goes unnoticed/unmentioned is that Edwards is a fantastic blocker and that helps the Jets running game on the second level springing big runs.  If they can get him to kick the ‘dropping the ball thing’ just a bit, I think they are OK there.  I’m OK with Brad Smith as the 3rd guy and one of these days the speedster David Clowney will catch a 70 pass (not in pre-season but an actual game).  I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked up a veteran receiver, but I would be shocked if they drafted a receiver in the first three rounds.”

The Cowboys, picking two spots ahead of the Jets in the first round, may be in the market for a wide receiver to play alongside Miles Austin. Like Edwards, Roy Williams is largely considered a disappointment since coming to Dallas as Terrelle Owens‘ successor.

If he slips into the second round, there are some teams picking at the top of the round that could certainly use help in the passing game. – Danny Hobrock

Danny is a sports journalist who primarily covers college football and professional baseball. He is a contributor for several sports related blogs and is the former editor of a political and current events website.

  • For more player profiles and complete coverage of this Year’s NFL Draft, visit our NFL Draft Prospects Home Page with new profiles being added each week.

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