Ryan Bates NFL Career From Undrafted to Emerging Star

Ryan Bates is a name that might not be familiar to many football fans, but with his impressive performance and dedication, he is quickly gaining recognition in the NFL. As an undrafted rookie offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles, Bates has defied the odds and is making a name for himself in the league. In this article, we will delve into Ryan Bates’ NFL career, from his humble beginnings to his current success. So let’s take a closer look at the rising star’s journey in the NFL.

Background and Early Career

Ryan Bates was born on November 22, 1997, in Warrington, Pennsylvania. He attended Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, where he played both offensive and defensive line positions. Despite his talent and hard work, Bates did not receive much attention from big college football programs. However, he received an offer to play for Penn State University as a preferred walk-on.

Bates redshirted his freshman year at Penn State, but he quickly proved himself and earned a scholarship in his sophomore year. He played in all 13 games in his sophomore and junior years, starting in nine of them. In his senior year, he was named a team captain and started in all 12 games, earning Second-Team All-Big Ten honors. Despite his impressive college career, Bates went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Journey to the NFL

After going undrafted, Bates signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent. He impressed during training camp and preseason, earning himself a spot on the team’s practice squad. His hard work and dedication eventually paid off when he was promoted to the active roster in October 2019. However, he was released a few weeks later and claimed by the Buffalo Bills.

Bates’ time with the Bills was short-lived, as he was released after just one game. But he didn’t let that discourage him, and he continued to work hard while waiting for his next opportunity. In November 2019, he was claimed by the New York Jets, where he spent the remainder of the season, appearing in four games.

Emerging Star with the Buffalo Bills

In December 2019, Bates’ journey came full circle when he was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills once again. This time, he was determined to make the most of his chance, and he did just that. In the 2020 season, Bates appeared in all 16 games for the Bills, starting in three of them.

His versatility on the offensive line was evident as he played at both guard and tackle positions, showcasing his agility and adaptability. Bates’ impressive performance did not go unnoticed, and he earned himself a spot on the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie Team.

How to Utilize Ryan Bates’ Versatility

One of the reasons why Ryan Bates has been successful in the NFL is his ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line. He is not just a one-dimensional player, as he can fill in at guard, center, or tackle, providing coaches with valuable flexibility. This versatility makes Bates a valuable asset to any team, and it is something that can be utilized in various ways.

For example, if a team has an injury on their offensive line, they can confidently insert Bates into the lineup without worrying about a drop in performance. Moreover, coaches can use him as a swing lineman, filling in for different players during a game depending on the situation. His versatility also allows coaches to experiment with different lineups, maximizing the team’s potential.

Examples of Ryan Bates’ Impact in the NFL

Ryan Bates’ impact on the NFL may not be evident to many fans, but for those who have followed his journey, it is clear that he is a valuable player. In his 2020 season with the Buffalo Bills, he played a crucial role in their success, particularly in the game against the Miami Dolphins.

In that game, Bates was called upon to replace starting guard Ike Boettger, who left with an injury. He stepped in seamlessly and helped the team secure a crucial win. This is just one example of how Ryan Bates has made a difference on the field, and there are sure to be many more in the years to come.

Comparing Ryan Bates to Other Undrafted Rookies

The NFL is known for its highly competitive nature, and making it as an undrafted rookie is no easy feat. However, Ryan Bates is not the only undrafted player to find success in the league. Over the years, there have been several undrafted rookies who have gone on to achieve great things in the NFL.

One notable comparison is Cameron Meredith, an undrafted wide receiver who signed with the Chicago Bears in 2015. Like Bates, Meredith had a successful college career but went undrafted. He went on to play four seasons in the NFL, recording over 1,400 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. With his versatility and talent, Ryan Bates could follow a similar path and continue to excel in the NFL.

Advice for Aspiring NFL Players: Never Give Up

Ryan Bates’ journey to the NFL may have had its fair share of challenges, but he never gave up on his dream. His determination, hard work, and resilience are qualities that aspiring NFL players should emulate. No matter what obstacles you may face, never give up on your dreams and keep working towards them.

Another crucial piece of advice from Ryan Bates’ journey is to always be ready for opportunities. Whether it’s through practice or studying film, constantly work on improving your skills, so when the opportunity arises, you can make the most of it. As we have seen with Ryan Bates, sometimes it only takes one chance to prove yourself in the NFL.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Positions Can Ryan Bates Play?

As a versatile offensive lineman, Ryan Bates can play at guard, center, or tackle positions. This makes him a valuable asset for any team, as he can fill in at different positions as needed.

What Accolades Has Ryan Bates Received in the NFL?

In his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills, Ryan Bates was named to the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie Team. This is a testament to his impressive performance and potential in the NFL.

How Did Ryan Bates’ College Career Prepare Him for the NFL?

Ryan Bates had a successful college career at Penn State, where he played against top teams in the Big Ten conference. This experience helped prepare him physically and mentally for the challenges of playing in the NFL.

Which Team Does Ryan Bates Currently Play For?

Ryan Bates is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills, where he has established himself as an emerging star on their offensive line.

What Makes Ryan Bates Stand Out as an NFL Player?

One of the standout qualities of Ryan Bates as an NFL player is his versatility. He has shown that he can perform at a high level at multiple positions, making him a valuable asset for any team.


Ryan Bates’ journey in the NFL may have had its ups and downs, but he has proven that hard work and determination can lead to success. From being an undrafted free agent to earning accolades as a rookie, Bates has defied the odds and is quickly becoming a rising star in the league. With his versatility, talent, and dedication, Ryan Bates is just getting started in what is sure to be a promising NFL career.

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