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Former South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler offers hints on possible NFL landing spots

At this point, it’s clear that former South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler will hear his name called during the 2024 NFL Draft next month.

But where will he end up?

Rattler spoke with reporters Friday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and shed some light on a few of the meetings he’d had with NFL teams earlier in the week, offering some hints at which franchises are showing continued interest in the former Gamecocks star and could possibly draft him in April.

Rattler — who will participate in drills and throw at the Combine Saturday afternoon — said Friday that he met with coaches from the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos earlier this week as he inches closer toward becoming the first South Carolina quarterback to be drafted in 34 years.

The Falcons, who play about three hours from Columbia, have a new coach in Raheem Morris and are looking for an upgrade at quarterback after last year’s primary starter, Desmond Ridder, struggled significantly. Atlanta also started NFL journeyman Taylor Heinicke last year.

The Falcons hold the No. 8 overall pick in the draft as well as the No. 43 pick (second round), No. 74 and No. 79 picks (third round) and No. 109 pick (fourth round).

“It went really well,” Rattler said of his visit with the Falcons, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Enjoyed talking to them. It was good talks.”

Rattler also met with the Broncos, who are coached by Sean Payton and feature what Rattler himself described as an “interesting situation” at quarterback. Denver made a huge trade to acquire Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson two years ago, but that experiment hasn’t gone as planned.

Wilson has played poorly the past two seasons, and the team decided to bench him near the end of last season despite remaining in playoff contention to avoid having to pay him a $37 million injury guarantee in 2025 if he got hurt, per NFL.com. Payton said a decision on Wilson’s future is coming soon, but most signs point toward Denver releasing the quarterback.

Rattler (who measured in at the combine at 6-foot, 218 pounds) told reporters that his meeting with the Broncos went “really well” and he had “great talks with them,” per 9NEWS Denver, adding that he got the impression from those meetings that Payton liked his film.

The Broncos hold the No. 12 overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft as well as No. 76 (third round), No. 122 (fourth round) and No. 144 (fifth round).

During his interview session, Rattler also mentioned that he met with the New England Patriots last month at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, where he was named MVP of the game, but hadn’t met with the Patriots at the Combine.

South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) is congratulated by head coach Shane Beamer after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the Gamecocks’ game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) is congratulated by head coach Shane Beamer after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the Gamecocks’ game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday, September 30, 2023.

Spencer Rattler’s USC career

Rattler, an Oklahoma transfer, had one of the more productive seasons by a South Carolina quarterback in program history in 2023. He threw for 3,186 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions and completed 68.9% of his passes.

The Gamecocks went 5-7 and just missed out on a bowl game. In 2022, his first year with coach Shane Beamer and USC, Rattler threw for 3,026 yards and helped the team go 8-5 with memorable upsets of AP Top 10 Tennessee and Clemson teams in consecutive weeks.

Rattler is primarily being projected as a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) selection or early Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) pick during the NFL Draft, which is April 25-27 in Detroit.

A two-year starter at South Carolina and Arizona native, Rattler is set to be the first South Carolina quarterback drafted since Todd Ellis, the program’s all-time leading passer and current radio play-by-play announcer, went No. 247 overall (ninth round) to the Broncos in 1990. (The draft was reduced to seven rounds, its current format, in 1994.)