Sep 6,2010

Golden Tate could be your Golden Ticket

What do Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, Braylon Edwards, Calvin Johnson, Michael Crabtree, and Golden Tate all have in common?

a) They’re all stunned at the imperial douchiness that is Matt Leinart.
b) They all prefer The Ultimate Catch to The T.O. Show.
c) They all think Calvin Johnson got the best nickname.
d) They all won the Biletnikoff Award.
e) All of the Above

If you chose answer d) you are correct… though choice e) is also acceptable.

On December 10, 2009, Golden Tate joined some rather impressive company and was awarded the distinction of being America’s Top College Football Receiver for that year. While previous winners include busts such as Charles Rogers and Josh Reed, the bulk of Biletnikoff Award recipients have gone on to make up some of the NFL’s most elite receivers.

Tate, No. 23 while at Notre Dame, demonstrating his dynamic receiving skills

After being selected in the second round with the 60th overall pick of the draft, Golden Tate will be taking up the cause for the Seahawks. He’s a rough and tumble receiver with decent speed and better hands. A quintessential athlete, he played both baseball and football at Notre Dame, helping the Irish (and Jimmy Clausen) to stay more than just lucky. After three years of ND’s pro-style offense, he should adjust well to Carroll‘s “Big Balls” approach to play calling. While the rookie recently admitted that the transition from South Bend to Seattle hasn’t been without a few growing pains, an athlete of this caliber should find his footing in no time at all.

Drafting a rookie to your fantasy team is always risky. I’d argue, however, that GT is not your typical rookie and is not joining your typical roster. With Housh moving to Baltimore and Deion Branch playing like… well, Deion Branch, Tate is a freshman with varsity potential.

A lot of experts are pointing to former No. 10 overall pick, Mike Williams as the Seahawks’ best breakout option, but I think he’s wasted too much time and eaten too many carbs to make an immediate impact. Reuniting with Coach Carroll is undeniably the biggest blessing to be bestowed upon the newly svelte receiver. Still, he’s been out of the game and off the field since 2007. Perhaps if he stays focused and motivated then a comeback could materialize. For now, however, Seattle’s best shot at ensuring a bright future is, in fact, Golden.

As part of an offense that will likely be coming from behind, expect Tate to get more looks than the average rookie.

Notice, I said Seattle’s best shot at ensuring a bright future… not their best shot at winning this season. For now, Tate will start as the No. 3 receiver for the Seahawks. Expect his numbers at the beginning of 2010 to be less than stellar and increase as the season progresses. He’s shown ability in the preseason as well as chemistry with QB2 Charlie Whitehurst, catching a sweet 41-yard pass in their loss to the Vikings on August 28th. Whitehurst may not be the main guy just yet, but with thirty fiver year old Hasselbeck entering a contract year, he’ll get there soon enough. The same should be said of Tate.

A late round sleeper, #81 is a fantastic get for dynasty leagues and “why the hell not” grab for any fantasy bench.