Martavis Bryant NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Steelers WR

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2014

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 03: Martavis Bryant #1 of the Clemson Tigers catches a touchdown against Armani Reeves #26 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second quarter during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson (HT: 6'3¾", WT: 211 lbs)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Fourth Round: 118th Pick

Combine Weigh-In
HeightWeightArmHand
603621132 5/8"9 1/2"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-Yd Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad3-ConeShuttle
4.421.5339"10'4"7.184.15
NFL.com

 

Positives

  • Above average height, giving him the potential to develop as a possession receiver.
  • Acceleration is impressive for a receiver with his height.
  • Long striders like him usually take time to build up speed, but Bryant has rare explosion off the line of scrimmage.
  • Has the speed to run away from the defense, which is a rare quality for a receiver with his height.
  • Combination of height and speed gives him enormous potential as a downfield target.
  • Does a nice job positioning himself to go up for jump balls in coverage. 
  • Despite his slight frame, he's extremely successful when going up for contested catches due to his positioning and body control.
  • Shows impressive concentration and focus when competing for the ball in tight coverage.
  • Does a nice job tracking the ball over his shoulder on deep routes. 
  • Plenty of experience as a blocker due to the number of screens and end-arounds used in Clemson's offense. 
  • Gives a decent effort as a blocker and appears to always know his assignments.
  • Occasionally returned kicks in college. 

 

Negatives

  • Very limited experience, with really only one year of extensive work on the field at Clemson.
  • Height is impressive, but he's extremely skinny. 
  • Needs to improve his functional football strength in order to become more effective as a possession receiver. 
  • Drops too many catchable balls, often due to letting the ball get into his chest.
  • Focus seems to be his primary issue with drops, because he's often successful in contested situations. 
  • Extremely dangerous after the catch due to his speed, but lacks the agility to consistently make guys miss in the open field.
  • Due to Clemson's offensive scheme, didn't run a full route tree. 
  • Overwhelming majority of his targets were on screens or go routes.
  • Needs to learn how to work himself open with more than just his pure speed.
  • He relies heavily on his speed to get open over the top but will need to develop moves within the stem of his route to throw off defensive backs, in order to gain an extra step in the NFL
  • Blocking technique is shaky—he does a lot of slapping with his hands and doesn't really engage the defensive backs.
  • Missed two games with a groin injury in 2013.
Collegiate Statistics
YearSchoolRecYardsYds/RecTD
2011Clemson922124.62
2012Clemson1030530.54
2013Clemson4282819.77
espn.com

Personal Notes

  • Suspended for 2012 bowl game due to academic issues. 
  • According to ESPN's Scouts Inc. (Insider subscription required), NFL scouts have "voiced concerns regarding 'mental capacity,'" which often means scouts are concerned about his ability to handle an NFL playbook.
  • After high school, played one year at Hargrave Military Academy in order to become academically eligible. 

 

Ratings Chart

Chart created at nces.ed.gov

 

Overall

Bryant's ceiling is among the highest in this draft class due to his incredible combination of size and speed. Had he returned to school for his senior year and continued to develop, a consensus first-round grade for the 2015 draft would have been well within reach. He is definitely a developmental prospect, needing to refine his route running and add some physical strength, but his elite upside may entice a team to gamble on him early on Day 2 of the draft.

 

Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd round