The football talent of former Maryland standout Kenneth Tate has never been in question.
It's the health of the former All-Atlantic Coast Conference safety that's the primary obstacle as he makes his bid for the NFL draft.
Specifically, the condition of Tate's left knee after having a cartilage transplant two years ago. He was limited to four games and two interceptions two seasons ago due to knee problems.
Tate came back last season as a senior to make 42 tackles, 6 1/2 for losses, four sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble, but damage has been done to his draft outlook.
Everything will come down to how teams regard his medical file and physicals.
Tate has some quality film for NFL scouts to view, especially when he was a junior and named all-conference as a free safety who had 100 tackles, including 58 solos, four forced fumbles, 3 1/2 sacks and three interceptions.
At his Pro Day workout in College Park, Tate performed well.
The 6-foot-3, 221-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds and had a 33-inch vertical leap. He bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times and had a 4.34 20-yard shuttle and a 7.20 three-cone drill.
Among the teams that Tate has drawn interest from are the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans. If Tate isn't drafted, he'll be a priority free agent.
NFL teams still see promise in Tate, who starred at DeMatha and chose Maryland over 100 scholarship offers, including Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Illinois.
Count Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta among those rooting for Tate to overcome the injury issues and make it in the NFL.
"You feel for him because he’s had a lot of injuries," DeCosta said. "I think he’s a quality person. I think he’s a great player. It’s just that the injuries have taken a toll on him. I wish him the best.
"We’ve had the chance to watch him play a lot at outside linebacker and at safety. He’s a good hard-nosed football player that you really want to see succeed and we wish the best for him."
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