NFL Draft: Spencer Rattler's long wait ends, as Saints draft him in the 5th round

At one point, Spencer Rattler looked like a great bet to be an NFL first-round pick. Maybe he was going to pick up a Heisman Trophy along the way.

Rattler was a highly touted recruit and had an excellent redshirt freshman season at Oklahoma. He was considered a future first-round pick. He was the Heisman Trophy favorite going into the 2021 season.

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That moment in time is what still made Rattler an NFL Draft pick, even if he fell deep into the third day of the draft after his college career stalled a bit. He was selected in the fifth round, 150th overall, by the New Orleans Saints.

That ended a surprisingly long gap between the sixth quarterback in the draft and the seventh. Bo Nix was the sixth quarterback drafted, with the 12th overall pick. Rattler had to wait to be the seventh quarterback until the middle of the fifth round. It was the longest wait between quarterback picks in the history of the NFL Draft, via ESPN.

Spencer Rattler got a whole lot of fire emojis from our experts as well as Yahoo Sports app users. (Gregory Hodge/Yahoo Sports)
Spencer Rattler got a whole lot of fire emojis from our experts as well as Yahoo Sports app users. (Gregory Hodge/Yahoo Sports)

Rattler doesn't have a lot of draft investment from the Saints, which means it could be an uphill battle to become a relevant NFL quarterback. But he still has a chance to fulfill all that promise he once showed.

Rattler was Rivals' No. 1 dual threat quarterback prospect in his quarterback class. No. 2 on the list was Jayden Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner who was drafted second overall on Thursday night.

He picked Oklahoma and then, as a redshirt freshman, he threw for 28 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He looked like the latest star quarterback under Lincoln Riley. But as a sophomore he started a bit slow and lost his job to Caleb Williams. Williams was drafted first overall on Thursday night by the Chicago Bears.

Rattler transferred to South Carolina and in his two seasons there he had 37 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. His best college season ended up being that freshman season in which he became an instant star at Oklahoma.

That star faded but the talent that made him a top recruit and a Heisman Trophy favorite a few years ago was still apparent on tape. But he waited a long time to be drafted.

One report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Saturday said that NFL teams weren't impressed with Rattler's attitude in the Netflix documentary "QB1: Beyond the Lights." Many teams brought up that documentary, Rapoport said, and perhaps that's a reason he slid.

The Saints ended up grabbing a quarterback who does have some talent and came at a low cost. He'll be behind Derek Carr and will have to prove himself to be the backup in New Orleans.

There's some upside with that pick. Now Rattler has to prove himself again.