South Carolina Football: Spencer Rattler gets surprising grade as top quarterback in 2024 NFL Draft

South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler was graded as the top quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft by former NFL scout Daniel Kelly.

South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler
South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina football fans witnessed one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the Gamecock program over the past two seasons. Despite playing under one disastrous coordinator and one underwhelming one, despite playing with virtually no help from a running game, and despite playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football, Spencer Rattler was very productive in Columbia.

He set a Carolina record for career completion percentage and inserted his name into the top-10 in the record books in yardage, touchdowns, and completions even though he was only in garnet and black for two seasons.

Once viewed as a can't-miss 1st round NFL talent, Rattler's draft stock dropped precipitously over the past three seasons. However, one former NFL scout is convinced that #7 will be the best quarterback in this year's draft if given the right opportunity.

Daniel Kelly, who worked for several years as a scout for the New York Jets under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick and now runs firstroundmock.com, has been high on Rattler for a while but has created a firestorm online with his latest quarterback draft rankings.

Kelly argues that the top-8 quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft should be:

  1. Spencer Rattler
  2. Michael Penix, Jr.
  3. Joe Milton, III
  4. Bo Nix
  5. Drake Maye
  6. Jayden Daniels
  7. Caleb Williams
  8. JJ McCarthy

Frankly, Kelly's list looks unlike any other in the NFL Draft landscape. However, his reasoning behind backing Rattler is simple: the former Gamecock is extremely accurate (career completion percentage just under 70%), he is an improved decision-maker, he is a good enough athlete to escape from pressure and to make off-platform throws, and he has "quarterback eyes" that show no quit or fear. He also cites Rattler's obvious arm talent and his developed leadership skills.

Kelly was not arguing that Rattler would be taken in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Instead, he believes Rattler is the best prospect of the group and would have the best career if all other things (opportunity, surrounding talent, coaching, etc.) were equal.

As it stands, Spencer Rattler is not expected to be a 1st round pick (though, there have been a couple of mock drafts through the process that have seen him taken at the back end). He likely will be taken sometime in the top half of the draft in rounds 2, 3, or 4. He will get a chance to perform for scouts at the Senior Bowl in February and at South Carolina football's Pro Day.

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