Projected Draft Position: 3rd – 4th
After playing at Hargrave Military Academy in 2010, Martavis Bryant arrived at Clemson rated as the No. 3 prep player in the nation, according to 24/7 Sports. In his first two seasons at Clemson — despite leading the nation in yards per catch in 2012 (he had just 10 catches) — Bryant’s production was quiet. But as a junior last season, Bryant was an All-ACC honorable mention after hauling in 42 catches for 828 yards and seven touchdowns while playing alongside this year’s top receiver prospect, Sammy Watkins.
+ Physically gifted
+ Ideal height
+ Great length, awesome wingspan
+ Good body control – can shield, bend and contort
+ Long strider
+ Good leap, especially combined with natural height/length
+/- Light feet
– Lacks bulk
– Thin build
+ Nightmare on back-shoulder tosses
+ Easy redzone target
+ Size alone makes him a threat on most routes
– Lacks experience
– Wasn’t asked to run a full route tree
– Raw wide receiver prospect
+ Heavy favorite in jump ball situations
+ Good focus and concentration with ball in the air
+ Great length provides wide catch radius
– Can he consistently catch away from his body?
– Prone to basket catches – waiting for the ball to come to him
+ Smooth acceleration, quickly gets to top speed
+ Great vertical speed
+ Good open-field vision, using speed to avoid defenders
+ Has the straight-line speed to beat DBs
+ Can consistently get behind the secondary
+ Physical tools are uncoachable
+ Competitor and worker
+ Plenty of upside
+/- Gets a body on to block, but can’t consistently sustain
+/- Benefited from playing opposite Sammy Watkins
– Is he a one-trick pony?
– Lacks experience, very raw as a receiver
Martavis Bryant is raw as a receiver given just his one year of starting experience, but the potential is certainly there. He has uncoachable physical assets that today’s league will covet (possessing a build/frame similar to that of Cincinnati’s A.J. Green), he has elite athleticism for a man his size and coaches should feel good about taking on a project like Bryant — using professional coaching to tap into more than what they saw from him at Clemson, where he was often overshadowed by the dynamic Sammy Watkins.
Assuming Bryant runs well at the combine, we can expect his draft stock to rise closer to May. Until then, projections in the third or fourth round are fair.
Take a fellow prospect like Ole Miss’ Donte Moncrief for example. While Bryant may possess more natural athleticism and length, Moncrief has the resume to go with some size of his own, as well as better strength, better route running and better hands, helping to make the argument that Moncrief is the safer receiver prospect of the two.
Here’s a simple look at what you can get out of Bryant from the start, albeit obvious given his height and length.
Lined up one-on-one with a corner toward the bottom of the shot, Bryant is prepared to run a corner route — a suspected route by the defense (one would assume) when facing a tall redzone target such as Bryant.
Despite solid coverage by the corner, Bryant is able to take advantage of his height and lift, getting a good jump on the corner and securing the ball with both hands and arms for the score.
Later in the game, Bryant runs nearly the same exact pattern, from the same spot on the field against the same corner. This time, again playing solid coverage, the corner gets a better jump to match Bryant’s and makes a play on the ball, which bounces out of the receiver’s hands.
Retaining focus on the ball, Bryant displays his body control and natural athleticism to keep his feet, track the ball and still secure it for the touchdown.