Draft profile: WR Golden Tate

NFL draft expert Chris Steuber breaks down Dallas draft target Golden Tate for The Ranch Report.

Golden Tate
School: Notre Dame
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 5-10
Weight: 195
Projected 40-Time: 4.42

Star Rating: Grade: 93
Draft Projection: 1st Round

Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of February 1st) in the 2010 Scout.com Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:

85-100 = 1st - 2nd Round
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th Round
_55-69 = 5th - 6th Round
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA

After a breakout 2009 season, Tate finds himself as a legit first round prospect.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Strengths: Tate is a game changing offensive threat who brings a multi-dimensional game to the field. He gets a quick release off the line, displays great awareness and works to make himself available to the quarterback. He’s a physical route runner, who sells routes with his shifty disposition and is explosive in and out of his breaks. He flashes outstanding hand/eye coordination on deep and intermediate routes and has a knack for the acrobatic, adjusting to errant throws. He’s elusive after the catch, runs with great balance and vision and is tough to bring down in space. He’s a tough competitor that doesn’t give up and will deliver a strong stiff arm to extend his run. He’s a willing blocker down field, and when he engages against the opposition, he generally drives them away from the action. He’s an experienced, dynamic return specialist who’s a threat to go the distance every time the ball is in his hands. He possesses great character and is a leader on and off the field.

Weaknesses: He lacks elite straight-line speed and is considered more quick than fast. He doesn’t have a prototypical frame for a No. 1 receiving threat. He has to fight off jams better and learn to use his hands more effectively. He allows the ball to get in on him and will drop catchable passes.

Steuber Says: A two-year starter at Notre Dame, Tate was sensational the last two years for the Irish posting back-to-back 1,000 receiving yard campaigns. But it was his production in ’09 - where he caught 93 passes for 1,496 yards and 15 touchdowns - that distinguished him as one of the elite wide receivers in the nation. While Tate has all of the qualities on-and-off the field that you look for in a wide receiver, his stature and overall speed could hurt him at the next level. Tate will draw comparisons to former Florida and current Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, but he doesn’t have the same burst that Harvin possesses. In a draft where the clear-cut No. 1 receiver is Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant, Tate is the No. 2 rated WR on my board and should hear his name late in the first round. There are a handful of teams that will be interested in his services, starting with the Baltimore Ravens at No. 25. The Ravens desperately need to find a No. 1 receiver to implement in their offense and allow Joe Flacco to grow with. It’s possible that the Ravens will explore a trade with the Denver Broncos for disgruntled Brandon Marshall, but that remains to be seen. Other possible destinations for Tate are the Dallas Cowboys at No. 27 and New York Jets at No. 29.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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