Scouting Profile: Wide Receiver Auden Tate

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 10, 2018

Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate is a tricky wide receiver to project in the NFL

Auden Tate, Florida State

Height: 6’5″
Weight: 228 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.68 seconds
Vertical: 31 inches
Broad Jump: 9’4″

Here’s an interesting prospect, as Tate has a lot of people torn in the draft community. His body is the perfect size, but he’s slow as molasses (as evidenced by his 40 time). He can make contested catches, but cannot gain separation. He’s one of the players that will take some extra time to dissect as we try to figure out what will and what won’t translate to the NFL.

Get a free $3 Best Ball entry into a 2018 DRAFT contest with your first deposit >>

Tate was at Florida State for three years but has essentially two years of playing time. Despite playing through a separated shoulder in 2017, Tate managed to play 12 games, hauling in 40 receptions for 548 yards and 10 touchdowns. In fact, 16 of his 65 receptions in college were for touchdowns, so he’s got a knack for the end zone.

Size/Versatility: 3.5 out of 5 stars
It’s hard to hate on a guy who is 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds, as that’s ideal for a perimeter wide receiver. While some will say it’s bigger than needed, Tate uses every single inch of his frame. He presents a massive target to a quarterback, as his arms measured in at nearly 34 inches, the longest among wide receivers at the Combine. The reason his grade gets a knock here is because he’s going to be limited to strictly perimeter work in the NFL, making him a bit less appealing for teams who move their receivers around the formation.

Route Running/Ability to Separate: 2.0 out of 5 stars
I almost put him down for one star in this category, but it’s not that his route-running is horrible. His inability to separate has more to do with his lack of speed more than anything, but he also fails to get low into his breaks. He’s a long strider, which means he won’t be able to make quick sudden breaks in his route, and knowing he can’t get low, it’s a problem when trying to create space. With all those negatives, Tate does a really good job as the ball approaches, using his body and arms to separate from the defender in a way that won’t draw many pass interference calls.

Speed: 1.5 out of 5 stars
The part of his game that you wish you didn’t have to acknowledge, because it’s just so bad. Coming out of the hole, Tate offers little-to-nothing, though he does start to gain a little momentum 10 yards into his route. There is literally nothing that shocked me about his 40 time, as it shows up on tape as well. Tate was never a player who was going to beat a defensive back with speed, but rather with rock-solid hands and body control.

Hands: 4.0 out of 5 stars
He’s a natural hands catcher, snagging the ball out of thin air like it’s no big deal. If he lets the ball come into his body, it’s because there’s no defender in sight, which is a rare occasion for him. His concentration on balls thrown over his shoulder and along the sideline is a thing of beauty, as he worries more about his body than he does his hands because of the confidence he has in them. If there’s one knock to him with his hands, it’s that you don’t often see him lay-out for a ball that is just off his fingertips. I mean, it’s hard to miss him as a gigantic target, but it’d be nice if he could help out his quarterback from time-to-time.

Awareness: 5.0 out of 5 stars
The reason Tate is so polarizing is due to the fact that he might very well have the best body control of any wide receiver in this class, which is rare for a guy who is 6-foot-5. He uses his big body to shield defenders and create a few yards of separation between him and the sideline, only to spin at the very last moment and snag the ball while tapping his feet inbounds. One of my absolute favorite parts of his game is that when a ball is approaching, he doesn’t tip-off the defender, but rather waits until right before the ball arrives to put his hands up. Too many receivers give away ball positioning to a cornerback who has his back turned. This is not a problem with Tate. He also knows where to sit in a zone, as well as when to come back to his quarterback in a route to help him out. His awareness is off the charts.

After the Catch: 2.0 out of 5 stars
When watching someone as big as Tate, you’d expect him to be a bit stronger after the catch. But the truth of the matter is that he rarely catches the ball with space to operate anyway. When he does, he’ll attempt to lower his head at times, but it truly seems out of character. He’s not someone a team will toss a five-yard slant to and hope he takes it to the house, it’s simply not his game.

Potential Landing Spot
With Kelvin Benjamin being traded away to the Bills last year, the Panthers have a void at wide receiver. Sure, they signed Torrey Smith, but that’s just a stop-gap solution, at best. Once you look at my comparison below, you’ll understand why he would fit with the Panthers. They have other needs to fill early in the draft, so it’s unlikely they take a wide receiver in the top three rounds. Tate is someone who’ll likely be there on Day 3 that can make a difference in the red zone.

NFL Comparison
Do you remember how big and fast Dorial Green-Beckham was? Why didn’t that work out again? Tate isn’t that player who will amaze you with quick cuts, blazing speed, or crazy athleticism, but will beat you with his technique as the ball approaches. He reminds me of Kelvin Benjamin, who is constantly regarded as one of the slowest receivers in the league. While that may be the case, he’s excellent at high-pointing the ball and using his body to his advantage. Tate moves smoother than Benjamin, whose knees may have taken their toll. Fortunately, Tate doesn’t have a weight problem and could be a massive target for the wildly inaccurate Cam Newton. Despite both Newton’s and Benjamin’s limitations, they did combine for 1,949 yards and 16 touchdowns in two full seasons together. At the very least, Tate will be a red zone option for some team.

Don’t miss the other Scouting Profiles on top prospects below:
Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State)
Derrius Guice (RB – LSU)
Ronald Jones (RB – USC)
Sony Michel (RB – Georgia)
Nick Chubb (RB – Georgia)
Royce Freeman (RB – Oregon)
Rashaad Penny (RB – San Diego State)
Kerryon Johnson (RB – Auburn)
John Kelly (RB – Tennessee)
Kalen Ballage (RB – Arizona State)
Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
D.J. Moore (WR – Maryland)
Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)
Anthony Miller (WR – Memphis)
Equanimeous St. Brown (WR – Notre Dame)
Daesean Hamilton (WR – Penn State)
Dante Pettis (WR – Washington)
Keke Coutee (WR – Texas Tech)


SubscribeiTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | TuneIn | RSS

Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

 

What's your take? Leave a comment

1Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
2Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
3Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
4Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
5Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
6Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
7Aaron Jones (GB)RB
8Chris Carson (SEA)RB
9Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
10Mark Ingram (BAL)RB
 View all Flex Rankings 
11David Johnson (ARI)RB
12Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
13Sony Michel (NE)RB
14James Conner (PIT)RB
15Julio Jones (ATL)WR
16DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
17Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
18Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
19Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
20Michael Thomas (NO)WR
21Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
22Travis Kelce (KC)TE
23Chris Godwin (TB)WR
24Amari Cooper (DAL)WR
25Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
26Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
27Austin Ekeler (LAC)RB
28Phillip Lindsay (DEN)RB
29Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
30Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
7Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
8Trea Turner (WSH)SS
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
 View All Rankings 
11Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
12Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
13Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
18Juan Soto (WSH)LF
19Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
23Starling Marte (PIT)CF
24Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
25Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
28Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
29George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
30Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
 View All Rankings 
11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
17Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
18Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
19Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21John Wall (WAS)PG
22Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
23Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30Devin Booker (PHO)PG,SG
Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests