Anonymous NFL executive comments on Spencer Rattler’s ‘image concerns’

Why did Spencer Rattler fall into the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft? The New Orleans Saints made a great value pick by selecting him at No. 150 overall, but he was projected to go much higher. Reporting during and after the draft cited character concerns and suggested Rattler’s less-than-flattering appearance on a Netflix documentary when he was in high school had rattled some teams.

But that’s a narrative many of Rattler’s supporters have worked to unravel, including his former coach at South Carolina, Shame Beamer. Whatever immaturity and arrogance that may have been perceived back then is behind him. And it’s by no means a consensus opinion in the NFL that Rattler was riddled with red flags coming out of college.

“Really didn’t harp on it much — it wasn’t a big thing,” one anonymous team source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “He’s matured a lot since then, like we all have. If there was a camera in my face when I was in high school, I wouldn’t have looked great, either. He was impressive in his interviews.”

Of course that’s only part of the equation. The teams that needed quarterbacks most this year already added them early in the draft, with six passers being taken in the first dozen selections. Fowler elaborated on that point:

South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler‘s fall to the fifth round was, in part, a need issue. Two teams extremely high on him — the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos — drafted quarterbacks in the top 12. That essentially left the Las Vegas Raiders, who had made the calculation that an Aidan O’ConnellGardner Minshew combo alleviated the need to reach for a quarterback.

But make no mistake, Rattler is not perceived as 138 picks worse than Bo Nix — some evaluators had him awfully close to the same tier as Nix.

One team source had zero issues with the perceived image concerns facing Rattler, whose appearance in the documentary “QB1” during his high school career did not portray his personality in the best light.

So what are the expectations for Rattler in New Orleans? He isn’t going to take Derek Carr’s job just yet, but he has the talent to do so in a year or two. If he’s receptive to coaching and puts in the work to develop into a credible starter, he could be the one leading the team out of the tunnel in the not so distant future. But the first thing he needs to worry about is outplaying Jake Haener, Nathan Peterman, and Kellen Mond for the right to back up Carr in 2024.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire