Draft analyst breaks down top QB Spencer Rattler heading into 2021

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It’s no surprise Spencer Rattler is considered the top quarterback in the 2022 NFL draft class. With three starters in the NFL, Lincoln Riley has created a quarterback factory that will help shape the next generation of stars at the position.

But the past success of Riley’s quarterbacks is just a part of the optimism surrounding Rattler. Rattler’s ability is what has so many people excited about his 2021 prospects for the Oklahoma Sooners, as well as what he can bring to the next level.

Many mock drafts project Rattler as the No. 1 overall pick in 2022, but much of that depends on who’s drafting in that slot. He’s the consensus top quarterback, but what is it that has people raving over the second-year starter for the Sooners?

Thor Nystrom from NBC Sports Edge did an extensive draft evaluation of Rattler, breaking down what he’s great at and what he needs to work on heading into 2021. Here are a couple of excerpts I found interesting.

Rattler evokes Kyler’s shake in the pocket and Baker’s resourcefulness out of structure. He has good field vision and off-platform accuracy to all sectors to keep all possibilities open until the last possible second. Last season Rattler ranked No. 7 on PFF passing grade on throws 3-plus seconds after the snap and No. 7 on throws 10-plus yards downfield.

Rattler is a courageous kid — put the video in slow motion and you’ll notice he keeps his shoulders squared and his feet planted until the second he gets blasted. He may play the game with the swagger of a video gamer, but he’s no prima donna on the field. Rattler finished No. 1 in the nation in PFF throwing grade under pressure last year — above all five 2021 first-round quarterbacks. — Nystrom

One of the things that has people so excited about Spencer Rattler is his ability to make plays when everything in front of him breaks down. Pass protection isn’t always steady in the NFL, so quarterbacks have to be able to create in the face of pressure. Rattler did that better than anyone in college football last season. His ability to make plays under pressure will lead him to success in 2021 and to being one of the more highly coveted players in the 2022 NFL draft.

The arm is undeniable. He can make all the throws. But what separates Rattler is his poise and ability to bounce back from a mistake or a benching. After getting benched in the first half of the 2020 Red River Shootout, Rattler came back a better, more decisive and less risky quarterback.