Tyler Bray   QB   Tennessee

TALENT BOARD ROUND  4

 

STRENGTHS

Tyler has the size and arm strength that the NFL teams look for when evaluating quarterbacks for the draft.  He can make all the throws for the next level with the velocity that coaches and scouts love.  He is a pure pocket passer.  In fact, he camps out in the pocket and would not move out of it even if there was a stick of dynamite at his feet. Tyler could be the poster boy for the definition of a pro style quarterback.  He seems to have good control of the offense mentally and does a good job changing running plays to the weak side of a defense.  Tyler seems to be as effective throwing the ball from the shotgun formation or coming out from under center.  I would imagine that when he works out and wears the red vest most coaches are going to think they can coach this kid up and make him a hall of fame quarterback.  For me, personally, I find that hard to believe.     

 

CONCERNS

Tyler doesn't like to get hit, which is not a good thing for a quarterback entering the NFL.  Once he gets hit in a game, his passing goes to hell.  He loses accuracy because he rushes his throws, changes his release point and his arm speed and throws off his back foot all to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible so that he won't take a hit.  He is stagnant in the pocket and doesn't have a feel for pocket pressure.  He doesn't slide in the pocket to give his offensive linemen a better chance to block because all Tyler can think about is getting rid of the ball as quickly as possible.  He is very heavy-legged, but skinny and will need to bulk up to absorb the hits he will take in the NFL.  Tyler reminds me a lot of Charlie Whitehurst (see The Huddle Report free archives for details).

 

BOTTOM LINE

The hardest thing to do mentally in the NFL is for a wide receiver or quarterback to take a hit over the middle or a blindside hit in the pocket then come back and make a positive play on the very next snap, knowing full well they may get knocked on their butt again.  Anybody who has played a physical sport knows the difficulty in getting hit hard and still having the mental strength to perform on the very next play.  I'm not happy profiling a player and telling you that he can't take a hit.  It's uncomfortable and it makes me feel terrible, but that's what I see when profiling Tyler Bray.  Can Tyler overcome this problem and become the quarterback that his talents suggest he can become?  Some coaches will think so and this will be worse for Tyler because the expectations will be more than he can handle.  I do know this:  coaches can minimize the problem with blocking schemes, but those schemes will also limit the play calling and that's not a good thing for an NFL team to have to do for a 16 game schedule.  I have this rule -- if a player can't take a hit at the college level and perform even better on the next play, then thinking a player is going to learn to take a hit at The NFL level and perform better on the very next play is close, or near, to impossible.  Maybe Tyler will prove me wrong.  If he does, I will be very happy for him, but the information I have in front of me know is the information you draft a player with and that information projects Tyler as a potential back-up quarterback like Charlie Whitehurst. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Jan/2013