Coming into the 2017 NFL Draft, Auden Tate was seen as a mid-round talent with some thinking he had the potential to sneak into the second day of the draft. A surplus of size represented the class of wide receivers this year, and no one stood over Tate in that regard.
Despite that, the 6’5”, 227 pound pass-catcher slipped to the Bengals in the seventh round because of an underwhelming combine performance and a final college season playing with a backup quarterback.
Being the last of 11 draft picks this year, Tate starts off this training camp competing just to stay on the roster; but don’t be surprised if he is fighting for playing time soon.
Tate is not just a big guy who can catch the ball. He is a terrific athlete who knows how to get open. Here he secures the inside release by stemming the corner to the outside.
With the corner preparing to matchup with the outside release, Tate is able to get wide open in the end zone.
In the clip below, despite having a defender running stride-for-stride with him, Tate remains focused on the ball, tracking it into his hands. He has excellent ball skills and shows great concentration on this play.
A lot of the talk on Tate is about what a threat he is in the redzone, and that is certainly the case. Here he runs back shoulder fade in the end zone against this year’s 11th overall pick Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Tate finds the ball and uses his abnormal extension to make the catch. As he is coming down with the ball he continues to turn and by doing so, he is able to use his body to shield the ball from the defender.
His size isn’t just an advantage near the goal line. Here, Tate takes a hit from not one, but two defenders while making a reception across the middle. He catches the ball cleanly and moves the chains.
While Tate is a tremendous athlete, it is his size that really helps him gain yardage after the catch. Defensive backs have trouble trying to bring him down. In the clip below the defender bounces right off of him and Tate is able to turn the play into a touchdown.
Here, Tate shows that he is the complete package as a receiver, First, he concentrates on the ball and adjusts to make the catch. Immediately after making the catch, he peeks to the inside looking for a running lane.
When he sees it isn’t there, he turns over his back shoulder and takes the ball up field. Tate hauls in the throw and reads the defense to gain as many yards as possible after the catch.
Tate is a playmaker and someone who has a chance to be an impact player for the Bengals. He has been billed as a great redzone option, but had the skill set to make plays all over the field. His ball skills, route running, size, and ability to run after the catch give him a chance to be a special player for the Bengals.