Ryan Bates, the young and talented offensive lineman from Penn State University, made headlines when he was selected as the 239th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. His story is one of perseverance, determination, and hard work. In this article, we will delve into the journey of Ryan Bates as a draft pick and explore his potential as a future NFL player.
The Early Years of Ryan Bates
Childhood Dreams and Aspirations
Like many young boys growing up in America, Ryan Bates had always dreamed of playing in the National Football League. Born and raised in Warminster, Pennsylvania, Bates was surrounded by a family that loved sports, especially football. From a young age, he showed a natural talent and passion for the game, often spending hours practicing on his own and studying different plays and techniques.
High School Career
Bates attended Archbishop Wood High School, where he continued to excel in football. He played on both the offensive and defensive lines, showing versatility and athleticism. He also received numerous awards and recognition, including being named an All-State selection.
Bates’ high school coach, Steve Devlin, described him as a “blue-collar guy with a great work ethic and determination to win.” This mentality would prove to be crucial in his journey to becoming an NFL draft pick.
Ryan Bates’ College Experience
Choosing Penn State University
After receiving multiple offers from top college programs, Bates decided to commit to Penn State University. He was drawn to the rich football tradition and the opportunity to play for a highly-ranked team in the Big Ten Conference. Bates also liked the idea of staying close to home, allowing his family and friends to attend his games.
Freshman Year Challenges
Despite being a highly-rated recruit, Bates faced some challenges during his freshman year at Penn State. He suffered a foot injury that limited his playing time and required surgery. However, he didn’t let this setback discourage him, and he used the time off to focus on his recovery and improve his skills.
Stellar Sophomore and Junior Seasons
Bates returned strong in his sophomore year, starting in all 13 games and becoming a key player on Penn State’s offensive line. He continued to impress in his junior year, starting in every game and earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors.
Ryan Bates’ Draft Prospects
Rising Through the Rankings
After a successful college career, Bates’ name began appearing on NFL draft boards. His versatility, athleticism, and strong work ethic made him an attractive prospect for many teams. As the draft approached, his stock continued to rise, with some experts projecting him as a possible third or fourth-round pick.
The Buffalo Bills Draft Pick
On April 27th, 2019, the Buffalo Bills selected Ryan Bates in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. This was a dream come true for the young lineman, who had worked tirelessly to reach this moment. After being drafted, Bates expressed his excitement and gratitude, stating, “I just want to contribute any way I can and help the team win.”
How to Utilize Ryan Bates on the Field
One of Bates’ greatest strengths is his versatility. He has experience playing multiple positions on the offensive line, including tackle, guard, and center. This makes him a valuable asset for any team, as he can step in and fill various roles as needed.
Additionally, Bates has shown excellent technique and quickness, making him an effective blocker. He also has good instincts and football intelligence, allowing him to read the defense and make the necessary adjustments during a play.
Examples of Success: Players Similar to Ryan Bates
In recent years, several players with similar backgrounds and skill sets as Ryan Bates have found success in the NFL. These include players like Pittsburgh Steelers’ guard Matt Feiler, New England Patriots’ center Ted Karras, and Chicago Bears’ tackle Bobby Massie.
Like Bates, these players were not highly-touted prospects coming out of college but have gone on to become key contributors for their respective teams. This gives hope and inspiration to young players like Bates, who may not have been drafted as high as they had hoped.
Comparing Ryan Bates to Other Offensive Linemen in the Draft
The 2019 NFL Draft was stacked with talented offensive linemen, making it a tough competition for players like Ryan Bates. However, when comparing his measurables and skills to other prospects, he holds his own.
Bates’ versatility sets him apart from many of his peers, as most of the other linemen are limited to just one or two positions. He also has good size and strength, ranking in the top half of his position group in the bench press and broad jump.
Advice for Ryan Bates: Navigating the NFL as a Young Player
As with any young player entering the NFL, there will be challenges that Ryan Bates must face and overcome. Some of the best advice for him includes staying humble, working hard, and being willing to learn and adapt to new situations.
Additionally, Bates should seek guidance from his coaches and veteran teammates, who can offer valuable insights and tips on how to succeed at the professional level. With his determination and work ethic, there is no doubt that Bates has what it takes to make a name for himself in the NFL.
FAQs About Ryan Bates and His Draft Journey
Q: What position did Ryan Bates play in college?
A: Bates primarily played tackle and guard for Penn State University.
Q: Was Ryan Bates considered a top prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft?
A: No, Bates was projected to be a mid-to-late round pick, with some experts even suggesting he may go undrafted.
Q: Will Ryan Bates have a chance to start for the Buffalo Bills?
A: With his versatility and strong work ethic, Bates certainly has a chance to compete for a starting position on the Bills’ offensive line.
Q: What was Ryan Bates’ reaction to being drafted by the Buffalo Bills?
A: Bates expressed excitement and gratitude, stating that he just wanted to contribute to the team and help them win.
Q: How does Ryan Bates’ college experience prepare him for the NFL?
A: Playing in the highly-competitive Big Ten Conference and against top competition in college has given Bates valuable experience and prepared him for the rigors of the NFL.
Conclusion: The Future is Bright for Ryan Bates
Despite not being a highly-touted prospect, Ryan Bates has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with on the football field. His journey as a draft pick is a testament to his hard work, determination, and perseverance. As he begins his professional career with the Buffalo Bills, there is no doubt that he will continue to make an impact and prove his worth as a promising young player in the NFL.
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