If you took the top 10 plays of Martavis Bryant’s 2013 season and showed them to scouts and GMs across the NFL, chances are most would agree he deserves to be a no-brainer first-round pick.
But there’s obviously a lot more to scouting a player than just the highlights. And that’s why Bryant isn’t expected to go until Day 2.
At 6-4, 211, Bryant ran a 4.42 at the combine. He has arguably the best size/speed combination of any receiver in this class:
Last year, Bryant caught 42 balls for 828 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 19.7 yards per reception. Overall, he only caught 61 balls in three seasons before opting to go pro. But still, Bryant is one of the better vertical threats in this year’s class.
Given his measurables and the fact that Bryant can do a lot of damage downfield, expect him to intrigue several teams once the draft rolls around.
The play below is Bryant at his best.
He runs the 9-route down the sideline, creates separation, makes the grab and then runs away from defenders. The straight-line speed really shows up here.
And at times, he did an excellent job of using his size and leaping ability to out-muscle defenders. Here are a pair of fades he caught in the end zone against Ohio State.
Bryant shows strong hands and toughness here to hang on.
And this might have been Bryant’s best play of the year.
Fantastic effort and concentration to come down with another touchdown.
Bryant is not as versatile as many of the other receivers in this class. He’s going to almost always line up outside and is at his best making catches outside the numbers. I didn’t see him do a lot with the ball in his hands in terms of YAC. He’s not especially elusive and didn’t break a lot of tackles.
But again, there are certain things he does exceptionally well. On downfield throws, he showed the ability to adjust to the football and make plays.
Here’s an example vs. Virginia:
And another one against Maryland:
Bryant gets downfield and shows he has the ability to go up and make plays in between defenders.
And one more against Georgia Tech:
Bryant fights through a hold by the defender, shows good concentration and comes down with the grab.
Overall, prospects like Bryant tend to rise a bit after the season because of pure size and athleticism.
Studied Martavis Bryant today…ton of drops early in the year, much better on later tape. High ceiling, low floor.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 3, 2014
And here’s what scouts told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“He’s got talent,” one scout said. “He’s had some drops and he’s a little bit of a knucklehead, but he can make all the catches. He’s a build-to-speed guy. Would I draft him in the first round? No. Does he have first-round talent? Pretty close.” Just 61 receptions for 1,354 yards (22.2) and 13 TDs. “If he blows it out at the combine, somebody might take a (first-round) flier on him,” another scout said.
As for the “knucklehead” part, Bryant got into some hot water for making a throat-slashing gesture during a game. And in 2012, he was suspended for the bowl game because of academic issues.
The guess here is that the Eagles will have Bryant rated lower than other teams. Why? Right now, he is somewhat one-dimensional. Bryant can make plays downfield, outside the numbers and in the red zone. But he’s not going to line up inside much and hasn’t shown great ability with the ball in his hands.
If he starts to slip, maybe they take a shot. But the guess here is that Bryant ends up elsewhere. In the right offense, he could develop into a fantastic vertical threat.