Stock plummets for QB Spencer Ratter in latest 2022 NFL mock draft

Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler (7).
Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler (7). /

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler has been a big disappointment in 2021. Here’s why his draft stock takes a hit in the latest 2022 NFL mock draft. 

Heading into the 2021 season, Spencer Rattler was considered by most to be the clear and obvious choice as the number one overall draft pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Starting his redshirt freshman season as a 19-year-old to begin the year in 2020, Rattler turned heads with outstanding play.

By the end of his first full season as a starter, had compiled over 3,000 passing yards to with 34 total touchdowns and just 7 interceptions in only 11 games, according to Sports Reference. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone so swimmingly for him in 2021.

Despite playing a cupcake schedule early in the 2021 season, Rattler has been an utter disappointment. He has just one passing touchdown in 3 of 4 games so far this season has already thrown 3 interceptions on some questionable passes. In addition, Rattler hasn’t earned more than 256 passing yards in a game since the first week of the season against Tulane.

However, what’s most concerning is his rapid decline in yards per attempt. Last year, Rattler was constantly looking to make plays down the field. Though his accuracy was sporadic at times, he was able to finish the season with a very respectable 9.6 yards per attempt (10.3 adjusted yards per attempt).

This year, however, that number has plummeted all the way down to just 7.5 yards per attempt (7.7 adjusted). Yards per attempt is one of the best metrics to use when predicting success from the collegiate level to the NFL, and very few NFL quarterbacks end up being starters who don’t meet the Y/A thresholds.

As his efficiency plummets, so does his NFL Draft stock. In the latest 2022 NFL mock draft from Luke Esterling of  Draft Wire, Spencer Rattler slides all the way down to the 30th pick to the Detriot Lions — the pick they acquired in the Jared Goff trade with the LA Rams.

What can Spencer Rattler do to improve his stock?

Rattler has been less than impressive this year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t turn things around. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has a terrific track record when it comes to developing quarterbacks, and his last three signal-callers since 2017 are starting right now in the NFL (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts).

Rattler isn’t as gifted as Mayfield or Murray in terms of pure arm talent, but he’s very escapable with the ability to drive the ball with velocity when he needs to. However, if he wants to improve his draft stock, Rattler is going to have to be more effective passing down the field.

In recent weeks, it seems that Rattler has gotten complacent with checking the ball underneath and limited shots down the field. As a result, he’s been putting games on the back of his defense — something a potential first-round pick cannot afford to do.

Spencer Rattler is young and talented, but it’s not hard to see why Esterling would have him slipping in his latest 2022 NFL mock draft. If he doesn’t turn things around on the field this season, perhaps there’s a chance he slips out of the first round entirely in the NFL Draft next April.