Next Pats Podcast

Why Spencer Rattler should be on Patriots' radar if they trade down

It all comes down to "opportunity cost" with the South Carolina QB.

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You've read countless scouting reports on Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy. You've familiarized yourself with Michael Penix Jr., who reportedly met with the New England Patriots on a top-30 visit earlier this week.

But is there another quarterback who should be on your radar, especially if the Patriots are serious about trading the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Our Patriots Insider Phil Perry believes so. While Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reported that New England met with Penix -- projected as a late-first-round or early-second-round pick -- as due diligence in case the team decides to trade down, Perry thinks a different QB prospect would be worth pursuing in that trade-down scenario: South Carolina's Spencer Rattler.

Perry made the case for Rattler over Penix on a new episode of the Next Pats Podcast.

🔊 Next Pats: If the Patriots trade down, why Spencer Rattler is a better option than Michael Penix Jr. | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I would rather draft Spencer Rattler than Michael Penix," Perry said. "Now let's be clear: Do I think that Spencer Rattler is a better player than Michael Penix right now? I'm not so sure. In fact, I would lean towards Penix being the better player between these two guys. And now you're saying yourselves, 'OK. Perry, you've got me in an absolute pretzel here. One guy is better than the other, and yet you'd rather take the worst one?'

"The answer is yes, and it's because of opportunity cost. Even if Michael Penix is slightly better, he is not so much better than Spencer Rattler. He does not, to me, appear to be a drastically more promising prospect than Spencer Rattler where I would be comfortable taking Penix in the early second round at No. 34 overall, or maybe even in the mid-first round, if he's a trade-down-candidate kind of quarterback."

Perry illustrated his point by posing a hypothetical in which the Patriots trade the No. 3 pick to the Minnesota Vikings for the No. 11 and No. 23 overall picks and future first-rounders. The team likely would have to use No. 23 or even No. 11 to take Penix, while Rattler could still be on the board when New England picks at No. 68 in the third round.

"If it's Penix at 11 versus Rattler at 68 in the third round, give me Rattler all day long," Perry said.

Penix was a more productive college quarterback than Rattler but has an extensive injury history that includes two torn ACLs in the same knee and two shoulder issues. And while Rattler's numbers don't jump off the page -- 37 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions in two seasons at South Carolina after transferring from Oklahoma in 2022 -- Perry believes the 6-foot-1, 200-pound QB has some intriguing tools to work with.

"For me, Rattler is a little bit healthier," Perry said. "He has pretty high upside. I mean, if you go back a few years, people were assuming by the time he became draft-eligible, he was going to be a high-end pick because that was how he was considered. But loses his job to Caleb Williams at Oklahoma, has to transfer, has to go through this maturation process that many in the league believe he has gone through.

"And again, he has this thing that I think is difficult to teach -- and if you don't have it now, I'm not sure it's something you can develop at the NFL level -- which is the creativity, the confidence, the physical ability to be able to throw from a variety of different arm slots, off a variety of different platforms from a clean pocket, as you're being hit and still able to make big plays. Those are, to me, those are the types of plays that separate a lot of the best quarterbacks in football."

Also in this episode:

  • Possible trade-down scenarios for the Patriots
  • Spencer Rattler scouting report
  • Phil goes 1-on-1 with Spencer Rattler
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