ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Golden Tate lived what NFL prospects around the country are going through this weekend six years ago. The former Notre Dame wide receiver left college early, had first-round aspirations and then draft weekend arrived.
He didn’t go in the first round. Didn’t go early in the second round, either.
Tate was eventually drafted at No. 60 in the 2010 draft by Seattle. It eventually led him to a Super Bowl and then a big contract with the Detroit Lions.
He went through what his draft day was like when he went to New York to find out where he’d be selected:
“The draft process for me was interesting. I didn’t, naturally as a junior or senior in college you’re reading all the blogs and Mel Kipers and see this team doing that and so on,” Tate said. “So I had expectations for myself. I thought I was going to go first day, late, between 28 and 32nd overall. And then, at the time, I knew that if I didn’t go then I was going to be in the first six picks of the second round and that did not happen.
“I sat in that room with the cameras on me for hours on the second day and started to get discouraged, started to question myself. But then I got that call from Seattle, coach [Pete] Carroll and right then and there, you totally forget about where you’re drafted. You then become thankful that you were drafted when you were and my mentality was just to prove those other teams wrong.
“Go fight your tail off and I’m a strong believer that God doesn’t make mistakes. He had a plan and has a plan for me and it worked out. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would do it the same exact way, go exactly where I went, how I went, get my Super Bowl ring and come on to Detroit.”
So what would he do if he could do it all over again?
“Honestly if I could do it all over again and I wasn’t going to the draft, first off, I would never go to the draft,” Tate said. “Just because the letdown is just, if I’m guaranteed one, two, three, for, five, then maybe I’d go but I’d say just go enjoy the day. Go do something fun, take you mind off it. For me, if I could do it over again, I’d probably go golfing, go fishing.
“I would spend time with my family, friends. But sitting and staring at the TV is so nerve-racking. It is so nerve-racking. If I get drafted in something else, I’m not watching.”