QB Tajh Boyd Didn’t Help Out WR Martavis Bryant Much Last Year At Clemson

New Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant might be one of my favorite players in the 2014 draft class as it relates to upside. I’m currently going through and watching every pass thrown his way in 2013 and while he really is raw, he’s super talented and should only get better.

Before I get to a clip I want you to watch, here are some numbers from Bryant.

First, of the 61 passes that he caught at Clemson, 23 (37.7%) of them went for 25 or more yards. 41 (67.2%) of those 61 receptions went for 15 yards or more.

Bryant was targeted a total of 65 times in 2013 and his 42 catches resulted in a 64.6% completion percentage. That’s not bad at all when you consider the depth of the routes run by Bryant in addition to the poor quarterback play he had to endure.

Of the 23 passes that were not caught by Bryant in 2013, there were a few drops and we will get to those in a future post. Several of the rest were squarely on the shoulders of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. I’m convinced Bryant would have easily been a 1,000-yard receiver in 2013 if only Boyd had played better.

To best illustrate the poor quarterback play, along with a one of Bryant’s drops, watch the game below against North Carolina State. Of the 23 passes not caught by Bryant in 2013, six occurred in this game

I have listed the times for you so you can go right to each pass intended for Bryant.

1:58 – A drop? This certainly is a high throw from Boyd, but Bryant does get a hand on it. You be the judge.

3:07 – Bryant has two defenders beat and Boyd overthrows him. That would have went for 96 yards and a touchdown. Look at Bryant’s separation grow with the ball in the air.

5:32 – This pass from Boyd was intended for two receivers.

6:10 – Way too high for Bryant on the sideline.

6:45 – Back judge has a better shot at catching this ball.

7:00 – A true drop, or in this case, a double catch along the sideline that was ruled incomplete. He has to hands catch this.

So, two drops or one? You be the judge, but you can clearly see that Boyd didn’t help Bryant out on a few other throws.

In my next post on Bryant, we will look at all of his drops from 2013.

  • srdan

    Great break down Dave!

    I agree with this article.

    Maybe in a couple years Ben takes Tajh out to dinner for his services of wronging Bryant in college.

  • Dan Mari

    Ben will have some fun putting the ball on the money for this kid. The runaway speed and body control he already has in this raw state is pretty awesome.

  • steeltown

    Wow no doubt. I think he could’ve possibly had that first one, would’ve been a tough one handed, still a poor throw, but damn that 3:07 pass was just awful

  • So let me get this straight, he was credited with six drops on all of those six plays? That’s crazy! Who decides if it’s a drop or not?? Bryant is 6’4″ and on the one pass he would need a ladder lol.

  • dkoy85

    I must admit he was one of my least favorite picks coming out of the draft because of his drops issues. But if the rest of the games he played last year resemble this one then I’m very happy with it. He has the height and speed and if his hands match he will be another great mid-late round WR steal for the Steelers.

    His one true easy drop at the 7:00 mark was just pure laziness. Once they get that straightened out our WR core is very dangerous. I’m rooting for him!

  • Aric Brown

    After watching tape on this kid I’ve come to the conclusion that not only did Big Ben get his big receiver, he also got a new and improved version of Mike Wallace

  • steeltown

    Same here. Im liking him more and more though, 4.42 and 6’4ft tall is a welcomed sight

  • blackandgoldBullion

    One coach said that he has the potential to be better than the star. WRs from his school of the past couple of years. It takes time for him to get to top speed but it will have to be respected so that back shoulder passes should be available all day long.

  • 804Stiller

    I had to re-read it too. But, I think it was 6 targets and 1 was considered a drop in this game.

  • dkoy85

    I also like that Mann said he puts a hump in his back and gets up and over the defender. Said it’s hard to coach and that’s something that for me is very important for a tall guy to be able to do. If he has strong hands with the ability to hump it then he could be dominant in the RZ. I can almost picture the red zone TD’s now…

  • Kareem Daniels

    Better than Plax and Wallace. He will go up and catch the ball. And he will stay on his feet after he catches it

  • I really like that we got him so late, I thought he would be gone a round earlier. He is very raw, but the upside is great.

  • SteelersDepot

    No, one drop, but just wanted to show how bad other throws were to him.

  • PA2AK

    think about that speed with the catch radius he has! if Ben didn’t put that ball within a 1ft box for wallace, he wasn’t catching it. This kid is much different. If he has maturity issues and is a raw WR talent…he came to the right place to make the best of it…Steelers and Mann.

  • alevin16

    Great article, I am curious though, were people saying this about Limas Sweed? I do not disagree that Bryant looks like he can be a great receiver but I guess I am just gun shy on this guy (only based on Sweed)

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It can’t take too long if he runs a 4.41

    Unless he just has some crazy gear that would translate into an even better 40 if his start wasn’t “abnormally slow”

  • cp72

    I really like how he tracks the ball in the air. I think that’s a very underrated trait for a wide receiver.

  • OK thanks….yeah I was in a rush at the end but those were terrible throws! Hopefully Ben will allow him to reach his full potential….bc he has plenty of it.

  • Chad H

    He has the ability and holy crap Boyd is terrible.

  • Paddy

    What does Bryant have to do with Sweede?

  • Steve

    Good job Dave. Was listening to the commentators and at the end they said Bryant is faster and taller than Watkins. With two receivers that Clemson had, they should have been able to go up and down the field all day and they sure made Boyd look a lot better than he is. Seems he chokes under pressure and runs too much and not a true pocket passer. If he could throw the long ball better they should have had 2 of 3 more TD’s in that game.

  • Steve

    Bryant made a sweet TD in the End Zone going up and over the defender. Watkins made a nice catch behind him as he was going to the sidelines. Even the commentators said, if Boyd makes that throw in the Pros it pick six.

  • alevin16

    I was just wondering if we heard this all before when we drafted Sweed. No other reason, just curiosity.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Guys like AB, Wheaton, etc. take 3 quick steps and they’re at full speed. He takes longer to get to full speed, but the longer legs means he’s going faster once he reaches speed. You don’t need numbers to understand this, just your eyes.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Can your eyes tell the difference between minute differences in speed in different films or are you quicker off the line than Usain Bolt because you are shorter?

    Full speed in 3 steps is only relevant if you get a playable distance from your starting point faster. 10 yard might matter more than 3 step speed.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    This is the same assessment I gathered. Martavis Bryant is not a “Kelvin Benjamin” or “Alshon Jeffery” type receiver. He’s not that physical.

    Bryant is much more of a speed/separation deep threat. He seems to crank up the speed in the second half of his routes (much like Wallace). But I believe he tracks the ball in the air better than Wallace, and can adjust his route while still maintaining body control/balance.

    It’s very difficult to defend a guy when you’re chasing him on a dead sprint. As a CB you can’t really look back for the ball and make a play on it when constantly trying to make up ground. This should draw a lot of PI penalties as well.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    My favorite thing about Bryant is how badly he wanted to be a Steeler. We were is number one “wish” team. He wants to be here.

    Contrast that with Wallace, who clearly wanted to go back to the warm climate. The Vikings actually offered Wallace more money but he turned them down because he hated the cold.

    Hopefully Bryant reaches his potential, and when it comes time to extend, we get a different result than Burress and Wallace.

  • Aric Brown

    he definitely tracks the ball way better than wallace… he also appears to have a few more routes under his belt than wallace

  • Jacque Strappe

    I think he’s the steal of the draft.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    This is the wr i wanted all along

  • Weiss Chad

    If the steelers could have figured out a way to keep Keenan Lewis and drafted jalen Watkins in third and traded 5,6, for archer wow!!throw Gilbert,foster and a number two for pouncey (Ebernate back up)This team would have no holes..

  • Matt Manzo

    I didn’t know that about Bryant! Him wanting to be here! That’s awesome!

  • Brian Miller

    That’s true…anybody who watched any Clemson games this year versus last year understands that Boyd regressed and was at times terrible last season. That Florida State game was probably the lowest the whole season, and I know the defense had something to do with it, but he looked bad all season, and that probably helped us being able to nab Bryant in the 4th round! Thanks Tajh!!!

  • Brian Miller

    Just imagine the number Watkins could have had last season with a good QB…scary!

  • I love looking back at old posts like this after seeing the player’s production. Couldn’t have asked for a better rookie year from Bryant as the 3rd/4th receiver, and he’s only going to get better as he gains more experience!