At Tennessee, Tyler Bray led a talented but dysfunctional offense.
A projected top pick prior to the season, he failed to progress as most had imagined. Due in part to the Volunteers struggles and multiple offseason incidents, his leadership had been called into question.
Possessing a strong arm and NFL-starter potential, can Bray take the next step? Or will his time at the next level be defined by the same erratic behavior and accuracy?
|+ Tremendous arm strength, delivers with impressive velocity||- Erratic accuracy, throws too many passes high or out of bounds|
|+ Impressive deep accuracy||- Maturity is a red flag|
|+ Ideal height at roughly 6'6"||- Inconsistent, sloppy footwork|
|+ Flaws appear correctable for the most part||- Lacks athleticism and mobility|
Standing roughly 6’6”, 232 pounds, Bray possesses ideal height but with a very thin build. Relative to size, his hands are fairly small at only 9 ¼”.
He is somewhat of a marginal athlete, lacking speed, strength and quickness. At the NFL Scouting Combine he turned in an average workout, as expected. He ran a 5.05 40-yard dash, reinforcing concerns about his speed. Other results from Indianapolis include an 8’4” broad jump, 7.20 three-cone drill and 4.51 short shuttle.
With multiple transgressions off the field, Bray’s maturity has become a cause for concern. He was cited for vandalism in July of 2012 when found to be throwing golf balls and beer bottles at cars. Later in the summer, he went to court for a reckless jet skiing incident. In another move that rubbed some evaluators the wrong way, he skipped his press conference after the Volunteers lost the game against Alabama.
Leadership may not be the only concern for Bray. In 2011, a fractured right thumb cost him five games. Due to a thin build, some may question his long-term durability.
At Tennessee, Bray operated primarily from the shotgun in a spread offense. He also ran plays from under center, however, in a Volunteers scheme that incorporated some elements of a pro-style scheme. The offense had a vertical emphasis, taking advantage of his ability to throw down the field.
Despite being one of this class’ most heavily scrutinized quarterback prospects, no evaluator can knock Bray on his arm strength.
He possesses tremendous arm strength, frequently demonstrating the ability to throw deep down the field.
Displaying excellent velocity, he can deliver to any area of the field with zip and fit the ball into the tightest of windows. He is able to drill passes outside the numbers in the intermediate-to-deep range.
Unfortunately, as is a problem with some other strong-armed signal-callers, Bray struggles with his command at time and has trouble toning it down.
Though he flashes anticipation and touch, Bray is often defined by erratic accuracy and inconsistent ball placement. He has a tendency to sail passes, which is sure to hurt him at the next level. Throwing too many passes out of bounds, he does not always give his receivers a chance to make a play. Additionally, he must do a better job of locating the ball for yards after the catch. He occasionally throws behind receivers on crossing routes.
Bray impresses with good deep accuracy, but struggles more with his precision at the short and intermediate levels.
Bray has less than perfect throwing mechanics. With somewhat of a long, wind-up delivery, the ball occasionally is late to leave his hands. Under duress, he often lowers his release point and resorts to throwing sidearm.
When he plays under center, he shows some quickness in his drops. His footwork, however, has drawn criticism. He has largely inefficient or sloppy footwork, often locking his front leg and failing to properly transfer his weight. These mechanical issues often are a precursor for Bray’s erratic accuracy.
Though lacking tremendous presence, Bray shows the ability to stand in and deliver with the pocket collapsing around him. He can climb the pocket, but is not especially maneuverable and struggles to reset his feet.
Occasionally he shies away from contact, shrinking at the bottom of his drop and flinching as he throws. When this occurs, sometimes he will toss the ball up for grabs.
While Bray is not a statue, he lacks the ideal mobility teams typically desire at the quarterback position. Looking capable of rolling to his right, he conversely struggles at times when he must move to his left.
He is not fleet of foot or a threat to scramble for yardage. Though flashing some escapability at times, he will rarely create room or pick up first downs with his legs.
How Does He Attack Defenses?
A strong-armed passer with solid deep accuracy, Bray is at his best throwing downfield.
He excels off of play-action, displaying the ability to stretch the field and take the top off of defenses. Unless he learns to throw with better touch, however, he will be very interception prone at the next level.
He can read defenses and is witnessed going through his progressions at times, however he is inconsistent in this area. Typically Bray avoids double coverage, but he occasionally fails to recognize or respect defenders underneath.
Future Role/Scheme Versatility
Due to arm strength and ability to throw the deep ball, Bray fits best in a vertical passing scheme. A poor West Coast Offense fit, erratic accuracy and decision making is sure to take him off of some boards.
He has the potential to be an NFL starting quarterback, but many question if he has the proper mental makeup for the job. Immediately, he must prove to teams that he is coachable.
Draft Projection: Third- or Fourth-Round Pick