Steelers Select Clemson WR Martavis Bryant In 4th Round Of 2014 NFL Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers fourth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has been made and it’s Clemson WR Martavis Bryant

Report via Dave-Te’ Thomas.
MARTIVIS BRYANT
Wide Receiver
Clemson University Tigers
#1
6:03.6-211
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina
Hargrave Military Academy
T.L. Hanna High School

OVERVIEW
While split end Sammy Watkins garnered most of the media attention during the Tigers pair of receivers three seasons together, Bryant never seemed to mind much about not being in the limelight. Bryant never came close to matching his teammates’ lofty numbers of 240 receptions for 3,3391 yards and 27 touchdowns, but once he secured a starting job as a junior, Bryant put together an impressive season that has thrust him into the elite receiver prospect section of the 2014 NFL Draft.

One look at Bryant’s career numbers of 61 receptions for 1,354 yards, it is just a shade better than Watkins’ worst season as a Tiger (57 for 709 yards in 2012), but the flanker made the most out of his limited opportunities. Eleven of his thirteen career starts did not come until his junior season, but among players that appeared in at least two seasons of competition, his career average of 22.20 yards topped the previous NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and Atlantic Coast Conference record of 21.96 yards by Herman Moore of Virginia (114 for 2,504 yards; 1988-90).

Bryant also became just the third player in Clemson history to average at least twenty yards per reception, joining tight end Joe Blalock (20.34 ypc; 38 for 773; 1939-41) and flanker Gary Cooper (20.145 ypc; 79 for 1,592; 1985-89) to establish a new Tigers all-time record. He also converted 21.31% of his receptions into touchdowns, as his thirteen scoring grabs are tied for tenth on the school career-record list.

Thanks to quarterback Tahj Boyd, Bryant and Watkins, Clemson led the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranked ninth in the nation in passing (333.1 ypg), finishing tenth in total offense (507.7 ypg) and eighth in scoring (40.2 ppg) in the FBs during the 2013 season.
Bryant and Watkins combined for 143 receptions for 2,292 yards (16.03 ypc) and nineteen touchdowns last season. The only ACC tandem to register more receiving yards in the same season were North Carolina State’s Torry Holt (1,604) and Chris Coleman (876), who totaled 2,480 yards in 1998.

While the media has yet to embrace Bryant and his impressive athletic ability, the two Clemson receivers certainly impressed NFL decision makers with their almost identical performances at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. In their own personal version of the game show, “Can You Top This,” Watkins ran 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but Bryant beat him with a 4.42 time. After Watkins delivered a 34-inch vertical jump, Bryant performed the event at 39-inches.

Bryant measured 10’-4” in the broad jump, with Watkins delivering 10’-6”. Both met at sixteen reps during the 225-pound bench press. Watkins was timed at 4.34 in the 20-yard shuttle, giving way to Bryant, who performed it at 4.15 seconds. The three-cone drill saw Bryant come in at 7.18 seconds, but Watkins ran a scorching 6.95-second event.

Before he arrived on the Clemson University campus in 2011, Bryant was rated the third-best player in the nation by 247Sports.com during his senior season at T.L. Hanna High School. A member of the MaxPreps.com Top 100 List, he was rated 43rd by ESPN on their national recruit chart and Rivals.com regarded him as the nation’s tenth-best wide receiver. Scout.com ranked him ninth among the state of South Carolina’s high school prospects.

Bryant moved into the starting lineup for head coach Kenya Fouch during his sophomore season, producing 47 catches for 803 yards, eight kickoff returns for 208 yards, and eight punt returns for 107 yards. In 2008, he recorded 44 receptions for 776 yards and six touch-downs, adding 13 kickoff returns for 348 yards and a touchdown.

Rated ninth in the state by the Charlotte Observer, Bryant played in the Shrine Bowl and U.S. Army All-American game after receiving first-team all-state honors from The State and the High School Sports Report as a senior in 2009. He had 70 receptions for 722 yards and 11 touchdowns during his final campaign. He did not qualify academically after his senior year and attended Hargrave Military Academy to improve his academic standing.

At Hargrave in 2010, Bryant was the top receiver for an offense that was quarterbacked by Doug Williams, Jr., the son of the former Super Bowl Champion. He had five catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns in his first game, including touchdown catches from Williams that were 60 and 74 yards.

Bryant enrolled at Clemson University in 2011 and he was immediately inserted into the receiving corps rotation. In fourteen games, he started twice, but managed just nine receptions. However, he made the most of those few chances, scoring twice while averaging 24.56 yards (221 total) per catch. He also averaged 22.5 yards as a kickoff returner.

Much like his teammate, Sammy Watkins, Bryant experienced a few “roadblocks” during his sophomore season that would limit him to ten games in reserve action. He missed the Boston College and Wake Forest contests after he injured his groin working out in the
Tigers strength facility in September and missed the Chick fil-A Bowl when he was ruled academically ineligible. He finished with just ten receptions, but his average of 30.5 yards per grab (305) was the best for any non-qualifier in the major college ranks. Four of those catches resulted in touchdowns and he also averaged 19.77 yards on thirteen kickoff returns.

Bryant’s breakout season would come in 2013. He rededicated himself to not only the game of football and his class work, but also wanted to show the coaches that he was willing to “buy into the program.” Seeing his change in attitude and work ethic, head coach Dabo Swinney would send the junior flanker out for eleven starting assignments. Bryant rewarded his coach’s faith by finishing second on the team with a career-high 42 receptions for 828 yards (19.71 ypc) and seven touchdowns.

There was one “brief” moment during his junior season when Bryant was temporarily in his coach’s doghouse. After he scored the first of two touchdowns in the North Carolina State game, Bryant was caught on tape making a “throat-slashing” gesture after hauling in a 30-yard touchdown reception from Tajh Boyd during the third-ranked Tigers’ 26-14 win. Bryant escaped a 15-yard flag, but was not free from the coaching staff’s wrath.

Bryant was suspended for the first half of the Tigers’ next game, vs. Wake Forest. “He’ll play this weekend, but it will affect his playing time a little bit,” head coach Dabo Swinney announced during his Tuesday press conference prior to the Wake Forest clash. “Just an unacceptable gesture after scoring a touchdown that nobody even knew about until after the game, but it’s not representative of what we want. So there will be some team discipline for him.”

“Listen, he’s been good. Just one of those situations that you’re always growing and teaching,” Swinney said, referring to Bryant. “It’s just unacceptable behavior, and he knew it. I wish I had seen it during the game. I wish the refs had called a flag. There’s no better punishment than immediate. Everybody missed it, but TV sure didn’t miss it. He’ll be fine. I don’t think he’ll do it again.”

On January 5th, 2014, two days after Clemson defeated Ohio State, 40-35, in the Orange Bowl, Bryant told the Post & Courier that he was leaving school and filing paperwork to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. In a text message, he stated the decision was “best for me and my family.”

Bryant fit comfortably into the role as Tajh Boyd’s number-two big-play option threat in 2013, with seventeen of his 42 catches going for 20 yards, including eight for 30 yards and four for 40 or more. The Calhoun Falls native led the ACC in yards per catch (19.7) for a second consecutive season. He exceeded his prior two-year receiving total in 2013’s first ten games en route to 828 yards and seven touchdowns. Bryant finishes his Clemson career with 61 career receptions for 1,354 yards and 13 scores.

CAREER NOTES
Bryant started thirteen games, appearing in a total of thirty-seven contests during his Clemson career…Caught 61 passes for 1,354 yards (22.20 ypc) and thirteen touchdowns, adding 338 yards on seventeen kickoff returns (19.88 ypc) and 17 yards on a reverse…His receiving average of 22.20 yards topped the previous NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and Atlantic Coast Conference record of 21.96 yards by Herman Moore of Virginia (114 for 2,504 yards; 1988-90)…Also set the school career-record for yards gained per reception, joining tight end Joe Blalock (20.34 ypc; 38 for 773; 1939-41) and flanker Gary Cooper (20.145 ypc; 79 for 1,592; 1985-89) as the only Tigers to average at least twenty yards per catch…His thirteen scoring grabs are tied for tenth on the school career-record list…
Teamed with Sammy Watkins in 2013 to combine for 143 receptions for 2,292 yards (16.03 ypc) and nineteen touchdowns…The only ACC tandem to register more receiving yards in the same season were North Carolina State’s Torry Holt (1,604) and Chris Coleman (876), who totaled 2,480 yards in 1998.

SEASON ANALYSIS
2013 SEASON
Bryant earned All-American super Sleeper Team honors (most underrated player at each position) by The NFL Draft Report, as that scouting information service also named him to their All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team, as the flanker also received honorable mention from the league’s media and coaches…Started eleven of the thirteen games that he appeared in, finishing second on the team with a career-high 42 receptions for 828 yards (19.71 ypc) and seven touchdowns, adding 36 yards on a pair of kickoff returns…
Also recovered an onside kick to seal the victory vs. Georgia…Had four receptions for a team-high 87 yards vs. South Carolina State, adding six grabs for 73 yards and two touch-downs at North Carolina State…Totaled 79 yards on three snatches that included a score at Syracuse…Hauled in four passes for 88 yards at Maryland and had five receptions for 72 yards at Virginia, followed by five receptions for a game-high 176 yards and a touch-down vs. Georgia Tech, earning ACC Receiver-of-the-Week honors…Totaled 84 yards on four catches, including a touchdown vs. The Citadel…Grabbed three passes for 28 yards and two touchdowns vs. Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

2012 SEASON
Bryant appeared in ten games as a reserve flanker, missing the Chick fil-A Bowl when he was ruled academically ineligible…Sat out the Boston College and Wake Forest contests after injuring his groin lifting weights at the Tigers’ complex…Finished with 305 yards, as his average of 30.5 yards was the highest in the nation for any receiver with at least ten catches…Converted four of his ten grabs into touchdowns, as eight of his catches went for distances of twenty yards or longer…Added 257 yards on thirteen kickoff returns (19.77 avg) and gained 17 yards on a reverse…Had a 22-yard receiving touchdown, 17-yard carry, and 69 yards on three kickoff returns vs. Ball State for a team-high 108 all-purpose yards…Added a 39-yard touchdown catch vs. Furman and snared three balls for 82 yards and a 14-yard kickoff return at Wake Forest…Scored on a 41-yard catch, adding a 24-yard kickoff return at Duke…Had two receptions for 59 yards and two kickoff returns for 49 yards for a team-high 108 all-purpose yards vs. Maryland…Caught a pair of passes for 62 yards and a touchdown along with a 24-yard kickoff return vs. North Carolina State.

2011 SEASON
Bryant earned his first varsity letter, appearing in fourteen games while earning a pair of starting assignments…Only caught nine passes, but they were good for 221 yards, an average of 24.56 yards per catch, as he converted two tosses into touchdowns…Also gained 45 yards on two kickoff returns…Had a 54-yard reception in his first career game vs. Troy and a 42-yard touchdown grab vs. Wofford…Added a 33-yarder vs. Florida State and made his first career start at Virginia Tech…Followed with a 16-yard reception at Maryland and made two catches for 54 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown, and a nine-yard kickoff return vs. North Carolina…Added a 36-yard kickoff return at South Carolina and snared two balls for 20 yards vs. West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.

2010 SEASON
Bryant attended Hargrave Military Academy, playing football for head coach Troy Davis…
Was the top receiver for an offense that was quarterbacked by Doug Williams, Jr., the son of the former Super Bowl Champion. He had five catches for 174 yards and two touch-downs in his first game, including touchdown catches from Williams that were 60 and 74 yards.

INJURY REPORT
2012 Season…Missed two games vs. Boston College and Wake Forest after suffering a groin injury lifting weights at the team complex.

AGILITY TESTS
4.42 in the 40-yard dash…1.57 10-yard dash…2.59 20-yard dash…4.15 20-yard shuttle…
7.18 three-cone drill…39-inch vertical jump…10’-4” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…79-inch wingspan.

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended T.L. Hanna (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Kenya Fouch…Rated the third-best player in the nation by 247Sports.com during his senior season…Member of the MaxPreps.com Top 100 List…Rated 43rd by ESPN on their national recruit chart and Rivals.com regarded him as the nation’s tenth-best wide receiver…Scout.com ranked him ninth among the state of South Carolina’s high school prospects…Moved into the starting lineup during his sophomore season, producing 47 catches for 803 yards, eight kickoff returns for 208 yards, and eight punt returns for 107 yards…In 2008, he recorded 44 receptions for 776 yards and six touchdowns, adding 13 kickoff returns for 348 yards and a touchdown…Rated ninth in the state by the Charlotte Observer…Played in the Shrine Bowl and U.S. Army All-American game after receiving first-team all-state honors from The State and the High School Sports Report as a senior in 2009…Had 70 receptions for 722 yards and 11 touchdowns during his final campaign.

PERSONAL
Bryant is majoring in Community Recreation, Sport, & Camp Management…Born 12/20/91…Resides in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Kurt Williams

    yes!

  • CW

    Well he is tall and he does seem to be a bit of a burner too. If he can be coached up on routes and the rest he could be a great addition to the wide receiver corps.

  • Jason

    Finally!!!! I don’t have to hear the term “big wide receiver” anymore. Great pick at 118 as long as his character concerns are under control. Anyone know what character issues they are talking about?

  • Brandon

    Nice pick

  • Ike Evans

    well…..that was a come up…why do i have a feeling they’re about to trade up?

  • steelersfan

    Love the pick

  • Jeff

    6’4”, 39 inch vertical, and 4.4 speed.. There’s ben’s big receiver.. Great value pick in the 4th.. Now let’s get a corner or two in the 5th!

    I’m starting to like this draft more and more.

  • Rob

    If we could get Desir in the 5th and Maybe Devin Street this will be a GREAT draft. I was hoping Cockrell would still be there in the 5th.

  • steelster

    Not excited about this pick.

  • DNore

    I really like the pick, and the Steelers draft thus far, a lot…find a defensive line gem and cb please, but still very happy now

  • Skinny Merlino

    4 great picks imo now trade up grab desir and take a flyer on McCullers

  • taztroy43

    Good

  • Kurt Williams

    Throat slashing gesture warranted a first half dnp the following week. That is the only “character” issue I heard about.

  • DoctorNoah

    A steal in the 4th. Now hoping we can get Desir

  • Aric Brown

    If we can somehow grab Desir that would really make this a good draft on paper

  • chris ward

    Nice pick in the 4th round to get a big WR in Martavis Bryant.

  • Jason

    Wow I was thinking something a little more serious. Good to hear though

  • shawn

    Honestly not a fan of him, but can’t deny his height and speed and he obviously can make plays … can’t really down the pick at this late in the draft i think he has a 50/50 shot of contributing … dont know if he will ever be a #2 quality guy .. but if he can get better and find a role and fill that RZ need it would definitely be worth the pick ….

    does anybody know his stats in the RZ ?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Nice pick didn’t think he’d slip to the 4th. Great addition to the WR depth

  • shawn

    not sure … can’t just be the throat slashing ?? thats ridiculous

  • shawn

    me neither … but can’t deny that he has speed, height & big play potential … and could fill a definite needed Big Play Role … right ? not a bad pick considering late 4th round !

    He actually has a good shot at contributing early … i think we will know early if he is a keeper or not !

  • shawn

    Has anybody actually seen anything on Desir that makes them somewhat confident in him …. i can’t see nothing either way due to poor film and competition .. just looks the part and runs a 4.5 …

    would like to hear from someone that isn’t just repeating noise … admittedly does have Cortez similarities … but then again Cortez was one of those Florida boys … this guy ?

  • Addison

    For who do you think?

  • Ike Evans

    Desir…or one of the big corners left

  • Addison

    Weird I thought you would of swoped the 3rd and 4th pick. Either way they got their scat and WR.. What are these character issues they are talking about and is he a upgrade over justin brown and moye?

  • Addison

    I hope I was thinking him or Bryant for the the forth. Cross our fingers

  • pat

    Great draft so far almost everyone on here said they would be happy with Tuitt in the 1st and Bryant in the 2nd we got them in the 2nd and 4th great deal if you ask me

  • Nolrog

    Limas Sweed, part deux.

  • Ike Evans

    WELP…there goes that…screw cleveland this is the second time the burned us for a CB this draft

  • Addison

    Thank God it’s not in the 2nd round if true

  • Steelers@2010

    Give the kid a chance! Besides, Sweed went in the 2nd RD.

  • Pitfan0513

    Really like this pick, just wish he used his hands a little more and no his body!

  • Nolrog

    Of course I’ll give him a chance, but his profile says “inconsistent concentration with too many double clutches and drops.”. Limas Sweed in a nutshell.

  • Jide Sobamowo

    Solid need pick again…has a high ceiling as he’s still raw in mastering a bunch of routes. Slender but could put on a solid 10 pounds as well. Ben should be happy as he gets a tall receiver than can blow the roof of coverage (just hope he’s not the other tall rangy guy Ben begged for in 2007 with hands of stone..lol). Like the pick.

  • steelster

    Bryant is a one trick pony. Just a taller version of Mike Wallace.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I wanted Abbrederis but this kid has a higher ceiling and has the potential to be a special player.

  • AzheDraven

    Well, if he can play like him, but with more heart, and with 50 million less, Im ok

  • AzheDraven

    They posted it yesterday on facebook, I kinda knew he was on their radar lol

  • Louis Goetz

    This kid is NOTHING like Limas Sweed. His problems were psychological. He had very low self esteem; absolutely no confidence. When he dropped a pass he overreacted. Remember when he faked being hurt after dropping a pass and laid there until Hines had to literally pick him up off the field, forcing us to burn a timeout? Martavius Bryant is nothing like that. if anything, this kid needs a bit of humility, which I’m sure Ben, Heath, Pouncey & AB will be able to teach him.

  • MailboxKid

    Literally everyone I wanted. Ellington, Cockrell, McGill, were gone by the time we picked. Kinda sucks.

  • NW86

    Yeah, no kidding. If we just snagged a taller version of Mike Wallace, in the 4th round of the draft? I’d be pretty happy with that. LOL

  • Weiss Chad

    Stole a purse w two other people

  • steeltown

    That’s just it, 4th Rd.. this kid was in 2nd Rd mock drafts all over the place and easily 2nd-3rd Rd graded player. I did not covet this kid, but…

  • shawn

    Im starting to come around & like this pick more and more … originally i wasn’t high on him as he was slotted higher and i was grading him more of an all around WR which i think he lacks ….

    BUTTTT if i think of him much like Benjamin (different skills set of course) … just role player with big play potential ( which no doubt he has ) and takes pressure off of AB & Wheaton … i think there is a lot to like in him … I guess its all how u look at it ..

    I was first comparing him to players like Matthews & Adams which are more complete .. which was foolish … i should have seen him for what he is which is fine in itself …
    reminds me some of an Alvin Harper Type …. and i remember how important and valuable he was next to Irvin for those Cowboys !

  • Steelers@2010

    The inconsistencies took place before he became a true starter. He really has only contributed 1 yr at Clemson. He made a stupid gesture during a game once
    (Throat Slash) that got him kicked out of the game. I think he will be a steal.