6-0/183 North Carolina
Pros: Has good long speed and has pretty good hands. Much faster than he times and shows explosiveness as a returner. Solid on punt returns. Does a nice job after the catch and weaves through traffic. Shows ability to track the ball in the air and does a decent job attacking the ball.
Cons: Not really interested in blocking. Unpolished as a receiver, really is just faster than the competition. Tends to be a bit too tentative on kickoff returns.
Overview: Mostly Tate is a very good athlete that has good speed that makes him a dangerous weapon in the college game, but too unpolished for the pro game. Tore his ACL last October and won't be back until June. Very productive in his limited time as a starting senior. Caught only 16 passes in 6 games, but averaged 23.5 yards per catch, and had 3 scores. Scored 3 times each on kickoff and punt returns during his career.
NFL Forecast: I see him becoming a solid returner at the next level, particularly as a punt returner. But I don't think he'll be an impact receiver. Could be a nice option in the slot. But will probably have more impact on reverses and screens than he would running standard routes. Will be an adequate receiver that can provide big play potential in spurts, but not consistent or reliable enough to really be considered anything more than a No. 4 option.
ATL Forecast: Tate could help the Falcons out in the return game, and also provide some big plays occasionally on offense. He's a better punt returner, so he'd allow Douglas to be more involved offensively, but I don't think he's that much better an option on kickoffs than Norwood. But his presence at least gives the team the excuse of using him more on offense.
Value: His return potential alone makes him worth a fourth round pick. But any higher than that and you're reaching.
Scouting Reports of wide receivers in the 2009 NFL draft.
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