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7 Days to the Draft: Notre Dame WR, Golden Tate

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With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Notre Dame's Golden Tate was one of the best receivers in the country last season. He put up stunning numbers at one of the most storied colleges in the nation- and he did it as the only real offensive weapon for the Fightin' Irish. His counter part, Michael Floyd (who will be a top 10 pick next year, bar some terrible mishap), was injured forcing Tate to be Clausen's go-to-man. Tate didn't disappoint. He thrived against the best competition, going 8 receptions for 117 yards and 2 TDs against USC. Tate has the makings of a true NFL superstar. Putting up 15 touchdowns and a shade under 1500 yards, Tate has shown that he can handle the full load of an offense. Can he do it at the next level?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 5-11. Weight: 202.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Combine 40 Time: 4.36.
Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
Vertical: . Broad: 10-0.

Player Comparison: Steve Smith (Giants). Tate and Smith of course have the size comparison, but they are both natural receivers with good speed.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review!

CBSSports.com Scouting

02/24/2010 - 2010 NFL DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64: 16. *Golden Tate ??? WR, Notre Dame, 5-11, 195, 1: The multitalented player earned the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver in 2009. Caught 93 passes for 1,496 yards and 15 TDs. Tate had a sensational high school career as an All-America running back, and his after-the-catch ability certainly reflects that. Has startling quickness and nifty moves that can embarrass a defensive back. He is aggressive going for the ball but sometimes lets it get into his body rather than snatching it with his hands. - Frank Cooney, USA TODAY/NFL Draft Scout

02/19/2010 - PRO POTENTIAL: WR Golden Tate - A possible first-rounder, Tate figures to end up as a slot receiver in the NFL because of his 5-11 height, and he'll be able to feature his run-after-catch skills. His ability on punt returns is another plus.

 

NFL.com Scouting

Tate has been a very productive receiver for the Irish over the past two years and will be coming out as a true junior. He does a lot of things right and finishes games with a lot of stats but there is nothing physically about him that really jumps out at you. He lacks premier size, speed and acceleration yet he manages to get open and make a lot of plays. He is an excellent route runner that knows how to set defenders up and does not show much wasted movement when running patterns. He does a great job of going to the ball when slightly off target and will compete for virtually every pass. He is almost built more like a running back than a wide receiver but will fit some systems as a second or third receiver.

Click the link for a more in-depth player review!

Verdict: I think that Damian Williams out of USC could be had later in the draft and fits our needs more. Williams has a better ability to spread the field, while Tate seems to be more of a posession receiver. I see Tate as an excellent #3 who can push #2 in a semi-Reggie Wayne role- he'll catch the ball anywhere. I see Williams as an excellent #3 who can push #2 in a Patriots role- he can run the perfect route and be in the right spot at the right time. While Tate may have a higher ceiling, if we go for a WR, I think that Williams might be the better choice in the long run.