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Tre's scouting notebook: Martavis Bryant

Tre has had a chance to watch film on various prospects, and has decided to put his thoughts down on paper ( Today he breaks down wide receiver Martavis Bryant.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Chances are that you've heard the name "Sammy Watkins" before, after all, he's widely considered the top WR prospect in the draft. However you may not have heard the name of his counterpart, the guy who played opposite Watkins and took the top off the defense for Clemson. His name is Martavis Bryant.

If you haven't watched all of the available cutups on Bryant, a few of the scouting reports you may have read would have you believe that he's got bad hands, is very inconsistent, a total project, etc. If you have watched all of the tape, you'd have to disagree with those assessments. Bryant isn't perfect, but he's a very talented receiver.

His build reminds some of a young Randy Moss. Again, I said "build", not necessarily his talent, ceiling, etc. Still Bryant does have the thin lower half, good deep speed, body control, impressive length, etc. that Moss had coming out. He may not be quite the prospect, but you can see some similarities.

Fact of the matter is that Bryant lived in Watkins' shadow and, to a lesser extent, that of Tajh Boyd, too. If you watch much of Clemson you'll see a lot of Boyd either running the ball or funneling it to Watkins, mostly for good reason, but I think there were a lot of touches that could have gone Bryant's way that didn't.


Bryant has off-the-charts measurables, coming in at nearly 6'4", running an official 4.42 in the 40, and jumping 39" and 124" in the vertical and broad jumps, respectively. It shows on tape, too, as he uses explosion at the line, jumps for the ball on fade routes in the red zone, and routinely runs by defenders on the go route.

In fact, I look at Bryant as sort of a "go-route specialist". It's not all he can do, but he did it so often on tape, and with such success, that it's hard not to see him that way. He shakes at the line, uses his hands to keep the defender off his frame, tracks and adjusts to the football, and usually makes the catch, even if contested. Then when he catches the football he leaves everyone in the dust.

Check out the Georgia Tech game for a few examples:

This second-gear is evident on tape in Clemson's bowl game vs. Ohio State as Bryant runs down the field to help ensure Boyd makes it into the end zone cleanly on a long QB run. In the embedded cutup below you'll also see that Bryant excels at the jump-ball fade.


Bryant is willing to block, but he'd prefer not to if the ball isn't going near him. Still, if it's a play to his area, he will give effort, though often his man breaks free and sometimes is involved in the stop. He could stand to get better here.

He will have the occasional dropped pass. He doesn't have the best hands in the draft, but again, watch all the tape, you won't see continual drops, and often times there is a defender grabbing at him, etc. He does need to work on refining his hands, but overall they're average-to-above-average.

While he does show some contact-courage at times, Bryant wasn't used over the middle or in the short passing game nearly as much as he was down the sideline and in the post. That was just his role in the Clemson offense, though. He'll need some time to learn routes, but I don't see anything that suggests he will struggle.


Bryant has loads of talent and can come in and do certain things right away for you. He'll take some time to fully round-out as a complete WR, but he can take the top off and help you in the red zone from day one. He could stand to improve his hands a little, but I think they're better than Donte Moncrief and some of the other guys in this draft.

I'm honestly puzzled as to why people don't talk more about Bryant. I think perhaps they just assume that if he was so good, he would have gotten the ball more often. Again, watch the tape, the plays are scripted to Watkins or Boyd has option keepers much of the time. I don't fault Bryant for that at all.

I wouldn't be surprised if he went near the top of the second round as his upside is tremendous, but I think mid-to-late second is his best value given the fact that he may need some time. He also missed some time due to off-field concerns, but we don't have the full personality report that NFL teams will have at their disposal. If he checks out there, he's certainly worthy of a day two selection.