Is Tyler Bray the Next Blaine Gabbert?

Jon Dove@!/Jon_Dove42Contributor IJuly 26, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tyler Bray #8 of the Tennessee Volunteers attempts a pass during a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Tennessee’s quarterback, Tyler Bray, is receiving a ton of draft hype heading into the 2012 season. Take some time and check out prospects rankings across the internet, and you’ll see some who have him ranked as the top overall prospect. Based on my evaluations, he’s extremely overrated and needs a lot of improvement to warrant this type of hype.

After heavily scouting the top 10 quarterbacks eligible for the 2013 draft, I have Bray rated as the sixth-best quarterback. He’s currently behind Matt Barkley, Logan Thomas, Tyler Wilson, Geno Smith and Mike Glennon. Bray does have a lot of natural ability, but there’s a lot to his game that draws red flags.

The biggest issue I see with Bray is his inability to handle pressure from the defense. He’s easily rattled by the pass rush, which forces him to make poor decisions and abandon sound technique. His lack of poise reminds me a lot of Blaine Gabbert.

Coming out of college, Gabbert received a ton of hype, but many overlooked his inability to handle pressure. This is one of the main reasons Gabbert has struggled to adjust to the NFL game. Too often, he drops his eye level and stares at the rush. This means he’s taking his eyes off his targets and preventing the opportunities to make plays. The graphic shows how Gabbert typically reacts when faced with pressure.

Bray has a similar problem standing tall in the pocket. He doesn’t always drop his eye level, but he completely abandons proper technique. The pressure forces him to fade away from his throws and alter his release point. Because he doesn’t square his body or step into the throw, his accuracy and velocity are hindered. The graphic shows how Bray fails to remain poised in the pocket.

No quarterback will be successful in the NFL if they can’t stand in the pocket and take a hit. All the arm talent in the world can’t overcome poor reactions to pressure. These quarterbacks can survive at the college level because of the weaker levels of athletes. However, the defensive backs in the NFL will eat Bray alive if he doesn’t use proper technique and makes poor decisions because of pressure.

Until Bray finds a way to not let pass rushers impact his play, he’ll remain a middle-of-the -road quarterback prospect in my rankings.