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Insider Only NFL: Scheme wise — is Golden Tate not a reach for the Steelers at No. 18?

Receiver regarded as a Hines Ward clone inside the organization

The loss of Santonio Holmes has sparked speculation whether the Steelers will “reach” for a wide receiver at the No.18 selection.
The only receiver with value at the No. 18 pick would be Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant, if Bryant were to fall to the Steelers.
There is a lot of depth at the wide receiver position in the 2010 draft but when it comes to first round value, Bryant is the lone elite receiver.
The player that has drawn significant interest from the Steelers since the NFL scouting combine is Notre Dame’s Golden Tate (5-11 / 195).
Tate is regarded inside the Steelers organization as a Hines Ward clone and the Steelers scouting staff see’s him as a perfect fit in their scheme.
Tate’s playing style fits the Steelers offensive system that revolves around underneath route combinations and bunch formations.
However, Tate is considered a major reach at the No. 18 selection and according to some evaluators is a reach as a first round pick period.
The Steelers I’m told value Tate as a first round prospect based more on his potential in the Steelers scheme of producing like a first round pick.
Whether that is enough to make a “reach” selection in the first round remains to be seen. There’s just been too many good things coming out of the Steelers organization about Tate to take him off the list of potential targets in the first round.
The Steelers have other needs and I believe they will go in another direction but Tate remains one of those sleepers on the Steelers draft board.
Scouting guru Wes Bunting of the National Football Post is among those who feels that Tate is not worth any kind of first round consideration.
Bunting on Tate: “There’s no denying that Golden Tate has the compact build and overall balance/burst to be effective with the football after the catch. The guy runs like a former running back –which he was in high school — and loves to fight and scratch his way for additional yards. However, I simply don’t think he has the size, quickness off the line or overall fluidity as a route runner to beat press and separate on the outside as a legit starting threat.
Tate isn’t shifty trying to avoid press, is stiff as a route runner when asked to change directions and overall isn’t a natural catcher. I think his skill set makes him ideally suited to play a slot guy at the next level, but in no way do I think he’s dynamic enough to warrant a first-round pick. Do I think there’s a place for him in the NFL? Yes, but I see him more as a Mark Clayton (Ravens) type than as Steve Smith (Panthers).”
Tate had 93 receptions – 1,496 yards and 15 touchdowns for Notre Dame in 2009.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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