Clemson’s offense has gotten a ton of publicity and attention because of quarterback Tajh Boyd and star wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but their other receiver, Martavis Bryant, opted to leave with them to the NFL himself after his junior season. Bryant’s combination of size and speed made him an immediate mismatch in every game he was on the field and there were opponents who simply had no answer for him. He was a tremendous weapon across from Watkins and gave Boyd another player who let him stretch the field and test defenses.
Bryant will draw attention because of his prototypical measurables and should blow people away in workouts. He possesses good size, elite speed and pretty good hands. Another year in college might have helped him polish his route running and perhaps he could have decided to block, but his upside is remarkably high if he can continue to fill out his frame. Bryant warrants a top 100 pick as a high upside project, but could easily end up going in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Vitals & Build
Bryant is listed at 6’5” 200lbs and has a great build. He has broad shoulders and a wide body, though his functional strength is underwhelming. Bryant has elite burst and speed on the field and is able to run with just about anyone. He possesses good quickness and body control as well. Bryant has the frame to continue filling out his frame so he still has physical potential, but some of it is just using what he has in terms of his strength more effectively.
Route Running & Technique
Bryant’s stance is solid and he does not have much bounce when he comes off of the ball. He is really quick with his feet and able to get around opponents who are trying to be physical with him at the line of scrimmage. If the defender is playing off of him, he can fly off of the ball with a great burst, getting to his top speed quickly.
Bryant was not asked to run a diverse route tree as Clemson simply does not use one in their offense. Most of what Bryant did was threaten opponents with go routes and then run different routes that worked off of that threat. He ran bubbles, hitches, deep comebacks, posts and some deep crossing routes.
Bryant largely wins on his athleticism and while he does show a good amount of body control, he is not really showing a ton of savvy in how he runs his routes. He is still relatively unrefined and ordinary outside of his raw speed.
Bryant has shown that he can plant his foot in the ground and explode into his route, especially on the deep cross, but he is not doing much to create separation beyond simply outrunning people or scaring them into giving up space. As he faces off against faster players, his speed will still be great, but he will need to do more to beat them down the field and hopefully employ more technique in that part of his game. The traits and skills are there to be developed if he puts in the work and reps.
Bryant has pretty good hands and seems to see and track the ball really well. He is not afraid to catch the ball away from his body and demonstrates the potential to have a really wide catch radius. He needs to continue developing and getting more and more reps in addition to just strengthening his hands, but there is a good upside in this area of his game.
Bryant also seems to possess a natural sense of how to use his body to box opponents out from the football, especially going deep, making it virtually impossible to defend him at times. He still needs to continue working and just getting more experience with how he goes for the ball and ironing out some issues, but there is an intriguing amount of ability that is naturally on display when Bryant goes to catch the football.
Run After Catch
Bryant’s speed make him a huge threat after the catch if he has an opening, but this usually comes in the form of catching the ball behind the defense and merely finishing the play. He has the speed and quickness to make opponents pay, occasionally exploiting opportunities when he catches the ball underneath.
Bryant needs to get quicker in going from catching the pass to run after the catch because if he can and gets utilized more in underneath routes where he can get the ball in his hands, he has the athleticism to take it all the way.
Bryant can block, but his interest level during his college career was almost nonexistent. He would give away the play immediately by jogging off of the line, get in position to mirror block and maybe get his hands on the opponent before mentally checking out and getting ready to go back to the huddle. With his natural length, ballast and strength, he has the ability to be a dominant blocker on the edge, but he has to decide it is important to him.
There are too many examples where he does not even set the block or the opponent simply runs by him because he is so uninterested. He can be as good as he wants to be in this area of the game and to this point, he just goes through the motions.
Bryant’s best suited for a vertical passing game and is a player who should get a couple shots down the field per game between his combination of size and speed. He can certainly contribute in just about any offense, but much of his game revolves his threat to go deep.
Bryant is raw and needs time to sit and learn to a certain extent, but it would be stunning if he is not featured in some offensive packages where he just tries to create problems deep either as a legitimate option or as a decoy to open things up underneath. The upside for him to be a starter and a great player is there, but he should be able to make a few big plays as a rookie just on his raw athleticism.
In several respects, Bryant is similar to Stephen Hill of the New York Jets. Hill got the attention of a lot of people with his workouts and size like Bryant undoubtedly will, but was incredibly raw coming out of the Georgia Tech system. Bryant has a little more experience and has been utilized and tested more, but he is nevertheless somewhat of a project. Like with Hill, Bryant has a ton of upside that could make him a great player down the road.
Martavis Bryant will impress people in workouts, because there is no question he has terrific burst, speed and quickness in addition to size. He is a little raw but shows an intriguing amount of ability with his hands and could continue to fill out his frame. His route running has work to do and he has to decide he wants to block, but he can improve on his overall feel of the game with more reps and experience. Bryant looks to be a top 100 pick but it would not be a surprise if he ended up sneaking into the second round of the draft because of his measurables and potential.
Some of the film used for this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com