NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at South Carolina
Getty Images

Spencer Rattler's football journey is one of peaks and valleys, and the South Carolina product is currently enduring the latter. Through the first two days of the 2024 NFL Draft, Rattler has yet to hear his name called. It was unlikely Rattler would join the fray of six quarterbacks that came off the board in the first round on Thursday, but Day 2 did seem to be a potential window for teams that missed out on that initial run to pursue him as the consensus next-best QB available. It just never materialized. 

Rattler is a polarizing prospect who, at one point, seemed destined to be a first-round-caliber player. He left high school in Arizona as the Class of 2019's top pro-style quarterback, according to 247 Sports, and committed to the University of Oklahoma. For the Sooners, he put himself on the map with a stellar redshirt freshman season in 2020 where he threw for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was a Heisman Trophy favorite entering the 2021 season, but ultimately lost the starting job to Caleb Williams, who just went No. 1 overall to Chicago. 

More recently, as a transfer to South Carolina, Rattler did put together some solid numbers for the Gamecocks and continued to flash glimpses of top-tier talent, but the team went 5-7 with him as the starter last year and he never was able to rekindle that magic from 2020. That said, he did make a good impression during the pre-draft process by winning MVP honors at the Senior Bowl.

Now, Rattler is looking at Round 4 as the earliest he could be picked and there are still a trio of NFL teams that make sense as a landing spot. 

New York Giants

The New York Giants have a Daniel Jones problem. The team signed its quarterback selected sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft to a four-year, $160 million extension last offseason. Jones struggled in 2023, throwing two touchdowns to six interceptions in six starts before a torn ACL ended his season. His 2022 run in which he had the lowest interception rate (1.1%) in the NFL appears to be an aberration and not the new normal. 

While cutting Jones doesn't make fiscal sense at the moment (would incur a $69 million dead cap charge), that didn't stop New York from scouting quarterbacks this draft cycle. The club even looked into trying to move up to No. 3 to select UNC's Drake Maye as Jones' replacement. They were unable to make that deal and decided to draft receiver Malik Nabers at No. 6 instead of taking J.J. McCarthy, but the need for another option at quarterback remains, which Rattler could fill. 

The earlier the Giants pick on Day 3 is No. 107 overall, which is the seventh pick in the fourth round.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders were another team that was looking to get into the mix of drafting a quarterback in Round 1, but couldn't find an avenue. After moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer, the club has Aidan O'Connell and free agent signee Gardner Minshew currently as the top quarterback options on the roster. While Minshew is a solid stopgap, he doesn't present a long-term future that a rookie quarterback like Rattler does. 

New Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce was Arizona State's recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach when the Sun Devils offered Rattler a scholarship back in high school. Pierce likely also saw plenty of Rattler's prep school games in person because the quarterback attended Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, about 25 miles from Arizona State's campus. That familiarity could bode well for Rattler in Vegas. 

The earliest the Raiders pick on Day 3 is No. 112, which is the 12th overall pick in the fourth round. 

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle currently has stability at quarterback. Geno Smith earned consecutive Pro Bowl appearances as the Seahawks starter, and he played like a top-five quarterback in 2022. The three-year, $75 million deal he signed with the Seahawks in the 2023 offseason will expire after his age-35 season in 2025. 

That could be the perfect time for Rattler to replace him as the Seahawks' long-term starter. Pro Bowl wideout DK Metcalf and 2023 first-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba are a talented 1-2 punch, and both could very well still be on the roster by then. New offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb had Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. looking like the best quarterback in college football at times throughout the 2023 season. 

Rattler could get plenty of seasoning in a quarterback-friendly environment before becoming a starter in his third NFL season. The trade for Sam Howell earlier this offseason shouldn't preclude Seattle from making a move on Rattler, either.