By Alex Kozora
Our focus has shifted to the offseason and for the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on several draft prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at and others will be top players that will be off the board before they select. All to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.
A look at Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
Martavis Bryant/Clemson WR: 6’3/6 211
- Great length with long arms (32 5/8 inches)
- Top-notch triangle numbers
- Soft hands, natural catcher with large catch radius
- Fluid and a strong athlete for his frame
- Long strider who covers a lot of ground
- Build-up speed runner who has ability to be a vertical threat
-Good body control and adjusts to flight of the ball well
- Size makes it difficult for him to press at the line
- Made the few targets he saw count
- Length an asset as a run blocker
- Little bit of return experience
- Raw with little experience
- Limited route tree, mostly deep routes (corner, post, go)
- Will lose some speed in his cuts
- Some ugly drops
- Won’t make many miss in the open field
- Doesn’t take particular pride in run blocking, effort and ability is average at best
- Difficult to evaluate and project
- 13 career starts
- Left school as a junior
- Just 61 career catches
- 2013: 42 catches, 828 yards, 7 TDs
- Averaged whopping 22.1 yards per catch over his career, first in Clemson history
- 2013 All-ACC Honorable Mention
- 14 career kick returns
- 22 years old
- Senior year of high school: 70 receptions, 722 yards, 11 touchdowns
- Four of seven TDs in 2013 came in red zone
Bryant’s triangle numbers jump off the charts. Tall and while a bit lanky, has room to add to his frame. Ran a 4.42 40 at the Combine, jumped 39 inches, and 10’4” in the broad.
Vertical threat with sneaky build-up speed. Primary routes he ran at Clemson. Reception of 30+ yards in six games in 2013 while averaging just under 20 yards per reception on the season. Despite just ten catches in 2012, racked up 305 yards and four touchdowns.
As those two examples show, sneaky speed who can stretch the field vertically. Numbers back that up, too. 17 of his 42 grabs, over 40%, went for 20+ yards. 33 receptions moved the sticks. No doubt he was productive when given the chance.
Arm length gives him the potential for a large catch radius and he does a good job of getting his arms extended to pluck the ball out of mid-air. Still photo of his catch in the first GIF.
Another game with him high-pointing the football down the sideline. No alligator arms with the safety closing, who ended up blasting Bryant. Holds onto the pass.
Love the hands and concentration on this field. Juggled and caught for six. Excellent body control, something he showed in multiple games. Tracks the ball well.
And shows surprising fluidity. Little tight in the hips but certainly not stiff. Shows the ability to get in and out of his cuts on this post corner.
Will have some ugly drops and frustrate you. Jumps for passes he doesn’t need to. Let three slip out of his hands in Week One against Georgia.
Like I wrote, Bryant is a difficult player for me to project. Tough enough to watch wide receivers without the All-22 tape but got such a limited look at him. Why I ended up watching seven games, the most of any player this season. Only then did I become comfortable evaluating him.
Tajh Boyd threw 413 passes and Bryant saw just 65 of them, 15.7%. Was rotated in and out of the lineup, something that appeared common with all their wide receivers. Still, played in only 66.8% (580 of 868) snaps in 2013 and just over 25% (245 of 959) in 2012.
Only three career games with more than four receptions. All coming in 2013.
Limited route tree and mostly ran deep routes. Wasn’t asked to do much else. One trick pony.
Because of that, he’s hard to project. Even though it isn’t in an option offense, Bryant reminds me a lot of Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill. Extremely raw and will take time to develop to become a complete threat.
Steelers’ fans, or any team that drafts Bryant for that matter, can’t expect him to contribute right away. Just way too green. Potential is there and a lot to like but due to his rawness and the nature of the position, he’ll have to sit and learn.
Projection: Early, Mid Third
Games Watched: vs Georgia, at Syracuse, vs Boston College, vs Florida St, at Maryland, at Virginia (Half), vs Ohio St (Bowl)
Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson
Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
West Virginia DE Will Clarke
Louisville S Calvin Pryor
Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
Virginia T Morgan Moses
Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt
Mississippi WR Donte Moncrief
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
North Carolina DE Kareem Martin
UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
South Carolina CB Victor Hampton