by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Dawg Post.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Georgia, Guard, Tate Ratledge
Name- Tate Ratledge
HT/WT- 6’6” 310 lbs.
Home – Rome, GA
Ratledge attended Darlington High School in Rome, Georgia, where he competed in football, basketball and track and field. He was a 4-star prospect who was selected to play in the 2020 All-American Bowl and was the #3 prospect coming out of Georgia. He committed to Georgia over Tennessee during his senior year.
As a freshman in 2020, Ratledge only played in one game for the Bulldogs, playing 7 snaps. He was named the starter as a sophomore but was hurt after just 4 snaps in the opener against Clemson. He was diagnosed with a Lisfranc ligament fracture in his foot and missed the rest of the season.
Last season, he started 14 of the 15 Bulldogs' games and was a big part of the offensive line that led Georgia to their 2nd championship in as many years.
Coming into this season, Ratledge was listed on the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award Watch List, as well as a preseason All-SEC First Team. He has started all 10 games and is being talked about as a solid mid round pick in the 2024 draft.
He is a consistent competitor that plays with a good base and fires off low, giving him the upper hand in one-on-one battles. He is fluid getting to the second level and he has the situational awareness of what the defense is trying to do with stunts and spin moves. He is a mauler in the run game and uses his lower half well to hit and drive opponents through the whistle. He relies on his strength to battle defenders one-on-one and works better in tight quarters than he does in the open.
On the downside, Ratledge needs to improve his hand placement and the way he utilizes his initial blow. He relies solely on his strength and this will be less successful at the NFL level. He is not technically or mechanically sound for the position and will need to be taught different techniques by an offensive line coach. He hesitates when pulling and struggles to put a square hit on a moving target. He can be sloppy in his pass protection and his footwork is too choppy for a 6’6” player. Injuries have played a big part in his collegiate career and have cut down on his available game film.
Going over some past scouting reports, Draft 412 found a comparable in Matt Feiler who went undrafted in 2014. Feiler was a mauler who played at Bloomsburg College and technically and mechanically was not up to par with other top prospects in the draft.
Feiler has become a solid pass blocker and has had a productive 10 year career adding depth to offensive lines in Houston, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and now Tampa Bay. Ratledge has a bit of a head start on Feiler since he played his college ball at Georgia, but needs to do improve on his techniques when entering the NFL like Feiler did.
Tate Ratledge is a player who has the tenacity and meanness that NFL teams want on their offensive line, but he will need to improve his hand and footwork to excel and start in the NFL.
Draft 412 Draft Projection - Round 5 or Round 6