What Spencer Rattler said about getting drafted by the New Orleans Saints

On Saturday afternoon, round four of the 2024 NFL Draft came and went without Spencer Rattler’s name being called.

Analysts on the broadcast, South Carolina coaches and fans alike were baffled. Heck, they were pissed. It did not help that the broadcast confirmed NFL teams were looking down on Rattler because of how he was portrayed in a Netflix show ... from high school.

“Spencer has changed so much since high school and that experience made him a more self-aware, humble person,” ESPN’s Molly McGrath wrote on X. “I guarantee 99% of people would regret how they looked if cameras followed them around in high school.”

Rattler, who was expected to be taken in the second or third round, finally heard his name called in the fifth round, when the New Orleans Saints used the 150th overall pick on him.

Asked about the days and hours of waiting for a call, Rattler just wanted to look forward.

“At the end of the day, it’s a blessing to get picked wherever,” Rattler told reporters. “We were waiting around a day or two, but I had faith my name would be called today. I was just looking forward to it. We were going to be excited no matter what.”

Rattler said he took a visit to New Orleans a few weeks ago and spent time around the Saints brass, going to dinner with quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko and meeting with a number of other coaches.

“I definitely clicked with them and knew they’d be in the mix, and I’m very happy they came and got me,” Rattler said. “I was familiar with the offense. Knew the verbiage — they installed some plays, and it was just fun.”

Luckily for Rattler: The Saints don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback. The likely starter will be Derek Carr, the 33-year old veteran who’s contract runs through 2026.

Rattler’s quarterback coach Mike Giovando told The State after Pro Day that he was just fine with Rattler sitting behind a starter for a year or two before becoming a starter. The timeline is certainly there in New Orleans.

“I feel confident,” Rattler said. “I want to come in and learn as much as I can from the vets. There’s obviously a lot of great players in that room, lot of great players on the team — coaches, too. I just want to come in, soak in all the knowledge and work my tail off every day.”

What will likely help Rattler’s transition to the NFL is who he learned from in Columbia. South Carolina’s offensive coordinator last season was Dowell Loggains, who came to USC with over a decade of NFL experience highlighted by stints as the Bears’, Dolphins’ and Jets’ offensive coordinator.

Rattler mentioned when Loggains arrived, they sat down and mapped out goals. Among them: Protect the ball. Use your legs. Be precise. Be efficient.

The work began to show.

He cut his interceptions from 12 to just eight. After fumbling twice in 2022, he didn’t lose the ball once last season. And despite being sacked 41 times, Rattler still had positive rushing yards and scampered into the end zone four times.

“I am an athlete,” Rattler said. “We showed I can tuck it and go and help the team get some first (downs), some explosive runs. You’ve got to have that dynamic as a quarterback.”

But for those betting on Rattler, it’s because of the mental stuff. Yes, he did not look good in a Netflix show from six years ago.

Since then, though, very few have handled adversity better. He was expected to be the Heisman winner at Oklahoma then was publicly benched in the middle of a game for Caleb Williams.

He stuck with the Sooners and didn’t transfer until the end of the season. Then he arrived at South Carolina and became a two-year captain. When the offensive line continued to break down, Rattler kept things positive, never throwing anyone under the bus when it would have been so easy to do.

Saturday proved that there are still folks who judge Rattler because of his past, failing to correlate that Rattler is transformed man because of his past.

“Being able to experience a little adversity early in my college career, I think that helps,” Rattler said. “As a quarterback, especially at this level, you’re gonna experience adversity — whether you want it or not.”

Rattler continued: “I wouldn’t change a thing about nothing throughout college. I’m ready for the next step. I know I’m prepared.”