Editor’s Note: To help you dominate your rookie drafts, this series will feature a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of over 40 dynasty rookie draft prospects and run all through the month of May and even into June. We’ll cover all the premier prospects but also give you critical information on some of the lesser known talents. All of these rookie updates will be loaded into our ever-evolving 2018 Rookie Draft Guide – the ultimate resource for dynasty enthusiasts all over the world.
Name: Auden Tate
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Cincinnati Bengals
College Team: Florida State
Draft Status: Round seven, 253rd overall
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- Height: 6’5’’
- Weight: 228 Pounds
- Arm Length: 33 ¾’’
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.68
- Vertical: 31’’
- Broad Jump: 112’’
Tate is a big physical athlete who does a very good job of catching the football at its highest point. He plays to his size and is almost impossible to cover once he boxes out the defender. Even though he’s 228 pounds, he still has the ability to outleap defenders. His large catch radius makes him an incredible red zone option. No matter how much he’s contested, Tate has a knack for beating the defensive back at the catch point.
One of the biggest reasons why he fell in the draft is his lack of speed. As you tell by his 40-yard dash time, he’s not a deep threat and lacks the top-end speed to stretch the field. Not only does he struggle to get downfield but he’s also sluggish when getting off the line of scrimmage. Tate also struggles with getting in and out of his breaks and creating separation from defenders. A large majority of his targets are contested. He needs to get better at beating press coverage or NFL defensive backs will have a field day jamming him at the line of scrimmage.
If Tate can overcome some of these weaknesses, he might get the chance to climb the depth chart and eventually see the field. His development will be the key to his success. Right now, he’s a ball of clay waiting to be molded.
Opportunities are scarce when you’re a seventh-round pick. However, Tate has enough raw talent to prove to the team in training camp that he’s worth rostering. The Bengals have had bad luck onboarding new receivers. John Ross couldn’t play because he was injured. Tyler Boyd has been a major whiff for the franchise. Then there’s Tyler Eifert, the lovable tight end who is always injured. Tate will carve out a role in the Bengals’ passing offense if he plays to his potential.
The Bengals have virtually no draft capital invested in Tate which means they won’t think twice about cutting him if he doesn’t play well. He won’t be at the top of the pecking order when it comes to practice reps in training camp, so Tate has to maximize all opportunities that come his way.
Cincinnati’s roster if log jammed with young talent. The Bengals spent premium draft picks on Ross, Boyd, and Josh Malone. They are going to give those receivers plenty of chances to prove their worth. This could cause him to get lost in the shuffle early in his career.
Unless he plays with a massive chip on his shoulder in training camp and builds a rapport with Andy Dalton, don’t expect much out of him during his rookie season. He might not produce during the first couple of years of his career. Like I said earlier, the Bengals spent next to nothing to get him, making it easier for the team to cut bait from him if they experience any issues with his play.
I hope I’m wrong, but If I had to bet money on Tate’s career, I would bet that he becomes a journeyman who bounces from team to team. His draft stock indicates that he’s going to have trouble latching on a roster let alone becoming a key piece to a team’s passing offense.
I’ve always been a fan of his talents and I think he does have the ability to be a producer at the NFL level. He would be a major outlier if he does break-out and become a functional fantasy asset. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he develops into that late-round pick who takes the league by storm and turns out to be the next out-of-nowhere bigtime fantasy asset.
He’s a slower Brandon Marshall. Both players are similar in size and aggressiveness at the catch point. Not to mention both players can easily leap out of the building. Tate needs to figure out how to get quicker out of the blocks and gain enough speed and quickness to consistently create separation from defenders. This is easier said than done, but if he can elevate his game, then he will definitely get a chance to compete in the league.
Projected Range for Rookie Drafts
Tate currently holds a 27.00 Rookie ADP, making him an early third-round pick in rookie drafts. Considering his talent and draft capital, this is a palatable price tag to pay for his services. It might feel a little much, but from a pure talent perspective, you’re not going to get many players as talented as he is in the mid-late rounds of rookie drafts.
In a different turn of events, the DLF team has him ranked 22nd in their consensus wide receiver ranks. Draft capital matters and I definitely understand why the team has him ranked out of the top 20 at his position. I can’t hate on you if you want to remove him completely off your draft board because you feel uneasy about how far he slipped in the NFL Draft.
Whether it’s spending a third-round pick or letting him slide to another owner in your league, Tate is a player you should be monitoring in drafts.
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Devin Duvernay, WR BAL - May 31, 2020
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Jonathan Taylor, RB IND - May 22, 2020
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: JK Dobbins, RB BAL - May 21, 2020