With Aaron Rodgers getting older, eventually the Packers are going to need to find his predecessor. Now, Rodgers still has a few more years in him which gives Green Bay the luxury of drafting a “project” quarterback and letting him develop for a couple years. In this upcoming draft, there is a quarterback out of the University of Arizona who could be the perfect project quarterback for the Packers. With the recent success of strong armed running quarterbacks in the NFL, Khalil Tate, who is projected to be drafted in the 6th or 7th round, could become a stud in the future for Green Bay.
In 2017, as a sophomore, Tate leaped onto the college football scene. As a quarterback he threw for only 1,591 yards on 62.0% completion percentage with 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. However, he also added 1,411 yards on the ground, averaging 9.2 yards per attempt with 12 touchdowns. In 2018, Tate vowed to become a better passer and he delivered on his promise. He threw for 2,530 yards, 26 touchdowns and only 8 picks. He only ran the ball 74 times for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. Finally, last season, Khalil Tate completed 60.2% of his passes for 1,954 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He added 413 yards on the ground with 3 touchdowns.
Khalil Tate is perhaps the most athletic quarterback in the draft. He has wide receiver speed at the quarterback position, something only Lamar Jackson currently has at the NFL level. He uses his speed to be a tremendous runner with good vision when the pass isn’t there. As a passer, which is what matters when drafting a quarterback, Khalil Tate has all the tools. His best asset is his NFL arm strength which also allows him to be a very good passer on the run. Also, when it comes to Tate as a passer, he has a quick release which is something that can definitely be a game changer in the NFL.
Considering Tate is a project quarterback, he does have a few things that he needs to work on if he wants to succeed in the future. The first, pocket presence. When he stands in the pocket, Tate looks very good but he doesn’t do it nearly enough because he is so explosive with his legs. In a clean pocket, like many quarterbacks, Tate is fine but as soon as it collapses, he does not like to throw under pressure. Tate would rather run out of the pocket to throw on the run or take it himself. Finally, Khalil Tate needs to work on his decision making. His arm strength gives him too much confidence as he will often throw into extremely tight windows.
With his size, 6’2” 215, and the physical tools, Khalil Tate has everything a team would want out of a project quarterback. Every quarterback has their downfalls but luckily for Tate, if he was drafted by the Packers, he can sit behind Rodgers and smooth out the things he struggles with. In 2-3 years, Khalil Tate could give the Packers the perfect quarterback to move on with after the Aaron Rodgers era.