Drew Tate Awaits NFL Call

With his Iowa career in the rearview mirror, quarterback Drew Tate has been preparing for his chance at the NFL. HN.com Senior Writer Rob Howe caught up with the talented Texan to find out how his workouts have gone and what he's hearing from scouts. Read all about it in this HN.com Premium Draft Preview.

Last season, Drew Tate continually told reporters that he didn't believe he would be drafted by the NFL when asked about his future.

The Iowa quarterback still feels that way, but he remains confident that he can find a home at football's highest level.

"I've talked to my agent and a lot of teams are talking to him about me," said Tate, a three-year starter with the Hawkeyes. "If I don't get drafted, I think there's a good chance I can get in a camp as a free agent."

Tate visited with former Iowa center Brian Ferentz last weekend as many of the past Hawkeyes were in town for the school's spring game.

"Brian spent last season on Atlanta's practice squad and now he's a second-team guard," Tate said. "That sounds pretty good to me. If I can get on a practice squad, they pay pretty well and I can show what I can do."

Tate proved he could play at the high major Division I level when he finished his Iowa career second to Chuck Long on most of the school's important all-time passing categories. That followed a distinguished prep career in Texas when he finished as the state's all-time leader in passing yards.

Still, the NFL is guided by measurements in a lot of instances. Tate's 6-foot frame is under the line where they allow most prospects on the ride.

"That's the way it's been my whole life, and that's the feedback that I'm getting now," Tate said. "(The scouts) at the pro day were happy with my arm strength, my running and my ability to throw the deep ball. I just need to find someone willing to take a chance on my height."

Tate was pleased with his performance at Iowa's pro day and at the East-West Shrine game, where he reportedly practiced well.

"But things are still very much up in the air," Tate said. "I still haven't been flown into anywhere for any workouts and nobody's come in here to work me out."

Tate's agent has been contacted by New Orleans, Chicago, Carolina , Baltimore and Indianapolis. Some of those teams have already signed quarterbacks since making contact.

"Things change so often that it's hard to tell who's interested," Tate said. "I've been told by my agent that the pro guys don't like to talk about anything. I think New Orleans still my be a possibility, but it's hard to say."

Tate also is looking at Canada if things don't work out in the NFL.

"My agent has talked with British Columbia," Tate said. "They seemed very interested."

There's a theory that exists around draft time that it might be better to be a free agent and get to pick your spot as opposed to being selected late.

"I can see advantages to both," Tate said. "If you get drafted, whether it's in the first (round) or seventh, that means a team wants you. On the other hand, as a free agent, you get to pick your spot and go to a place that has two quarterbacks instead of four or five."

Tate said he's confident he can play in any system.

In 2004, Iowa employed a "quick game" as a result of running back injuries. The last two seasons, Tate has engineered a more balanced attack.

"I like the quick game, but I understand that we needed balance to try to win," he said.

At times during the last three years, critics have pointed to Tate's on-field demeanor as a possible dividing force on the team. He sometimes would bark at teammates and offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe when things broke down.

"I had one (NFL) team ask me about my relationship with Coach O'Keefe," Tate said. "I told them that it's the fiery competitor in both of us. It might look bad, but we have the team's best interest in mind. It doesn't matter if you're 4-10 or 6-10, you need heart to make it and if you really want it you do what it takes."

Tate really has enjoyed the last few months on the Iowa campus with his Hawkeye football career behind him.

"I've got a lot more free time, and I'm really enjoying being a regular college student," Tate said.

Tate will have two more classes remaining for graduation after this semester ends and he plans on finishing them up at some point.

Arrangements have been made for draft weekend, when Tate will head back to Texas. He will play golf on Saturday and indulge in a crawfish boil with friends and family on Sunday.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "We'll probably boil about 500 pounds of crawfish with corn and potatoes. We'll see what happens with the draft.

"It's pretty important. School is getting done and I need to find something to pay the bills."


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