A quick detour through Lexington has finally put Kentucky Wildcats tackle Dare Rosenthal on the fast track to the NFL.
Though he went undrafted, Rosenthal has now found an NFL home, as he’s signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Rosenthal’s agency, Elite Loyalty Sports, announced the news on Instagram.
Rosenthal played one season at Kentucky, starting 12 of UK’s 13 games at left tackle in 2021 to help the Big Blue Wall continue its legacy with a trio of big-time players up front in Rosenthal, Luke Fortner, and All-American Darian Kinnard, who are all projected to get drafted this weekend.
The 6-foot-7, 327-pounder began his career at SEC-rival LSU, but left the team after coach Ed Orgeron suspended him indefinitely for discipline issues. As a sophomore at LSU, Rosenthal started seven of LSU’s 10-game SEC schedule, getting starting assignments against Mississippi State, Missouri, Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss during the 2020 season.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops ultimately had no problem taking a chance on Rosenthal once he hit the transfer portal and a solid year now has the Louisiana native in the mix to stick with a team and earn significant playing time on Sundays.
Most importantly, Rosenthal has proven himself to be one of the most athletic linemen in this year’s class, running the fastest 40-yard dash of any offensive lineman (4.88 seconds) at the NFL combine.
In high school, Rosenthal was the top-rated defensive tackle prospect in Louisiana and was ranked the nation’s No. 18 overall defensive tackle.
Dare to be great. @UKFootball OL Dare Rosenthal with a nice 4.93u. @drosenthal51— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2022
: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/MO6htsLGWJ
Rosenthal, who battled a leg injury late in the season and missed the bowl game victory over Iowa, updated his injury status and discussed his pre-draft conversations with NFL teams at UK’s recent Pro Day.
“I’ve been working on technique and trying to get 100 percent healthy,” said Rosenthal in late March. “That’s all I’ve been working on.”
As expected, Rosenthal also admitted that much of the conversation with NFL teams the past few months has been about “off the field stuff.”
“(They’re) just trying to figure out what kind of person I am in the building (and) outside the building,” he said. “I’m just an authentic person. You got to talk to me to know me. You can’t judge me from what other people say.”
The general consensus is that once he puts the off field struggles to bed, many NFL experts believe that Rosenthal can be a solid player at the next level.
In fact, NFL Draft expert Kyle Crabbs had projected Rosenthal as one of the “biggest steals” of the draft heading into the week.
“Kentucky offensive tackle Dare Rosenthal has the opportunity to become one of the biggest steals of the 2022 NFL Draft. Rosenthal, who originally enrolled with the LSU Tigers program and served as an intermittent starter over the course of two seasons of playing time in Baton Rouge, was initially a top-20 rated defensive tackle prospect coming out of high school (he did play both ways) before redshirting his true freshman season in 2018 and fully converting to play the offensive tackle position. His raw skill set is apparent when you watch him play—if you’re looking for high level football fundamentals and a finished product, you’re going to be sorely disappointed with his framing on the edge and his hand implementation. But oh, my goodness, this is one of the most physically gifted big men in the class, bar none. Rosenthal has absolutely stupid levels of quickness and power at his disposal and the high level flashes he showed in 2021, his first season in Kentucky, are really hard to ignore. Rosenthal is going to need to go to an environment that has an accomplished offensive line coach who is capable of coaching him up to his full potential, and then Rosenthal is going to have to execute on his own behalf and put in the needed work to get better. But the sky’s the limit here; the raw traits are among the best in the class if you can put the polish into his game. It is also worth noting that Rosenthal served a month-long suspension for the Tigers in 2020—the details will be worth vetting for NFL franchises.”
Rosenthal’s next stop is sure to be a big one, as he now represents the late John Schlarman and the Big Blue Wall at the next level.
Best of luck to Rosenthal as he begins his professional career in Catlanta.