Originally written on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 12/20/12

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 30: Tyler Bray of the Tennessee Volunteers throws a pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
With the struggles the Tennessee program had this year coupled with a new head coach and his favorite receiver Justin Hunter gone, it seemed it would be more surprising if Tyler Bray returned to school to play for Butch Jones and the Volunteers. And, as likely many expected, quarterback Tyler Bray has decided to make the jump, leave school early, and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft (per Bruce Feldman). While he may be trying to capitalize on a fairly mediocre quarterback class, he doesn't have the footwork, mechanics, progression reads, or accuracy to be a 1st round quarterback, and may be battling with the already crowded 2nd round quarterback crop.   After what a both surprising and very impressive freshman campaign that started in his fifth game as a Volunteer, Bray flashed his big arm, ideal size, and flashes of the downfield passing ability that most future NFLers can't consistently do. It was clear that, even though he struggled with consistency through his freshman year, he had NFL upside. But a sophomore year injury to Justin Hunter (ACL early in the season) and his own thumb injury that caused him to miss five games (arguably three of the toughest he'd have to face), it wasn't what he or many Tennessee fans expected. Still flashing the big time arm and NFL ceiling, many fans and likely NFL scouts were excited to see his progression as a junior. RELATED: 2013 NFL Draft Underclassmen Tracker That progression never really came, however. Despite having a solid offensive line, two future Top 50 picks at receiver, and 15+ starts under his belt, Bray never seemed to develop a short passing game with any sort of touch or consistent timing. He force-fed the ball vertically to Justin Hunter far too often, and struggled to diagnose defenses after the snap. As a freshman, he thrived, but never seemed to improve from there. With myself and our SEC scout Alex in agreement on Bray's struggles and need for long-term development at the next level, we don't feel it was necessarily a wise move to declare early. He may be right in the hunt for the 2nd or 3rd quarterback spot in this draft, but so are 5-6 other much more polished seniors. He'll be our 7th rated quarterback in this draft class. However, with all that said, he certainly impress many NFL GMs at the NFL Combine. Keep in mind two things on Tyler Bray: One, is that many (not all) GMs begin to play catch-up on NFL Draft evaluations around the Senior Bowl and generally go into full gear by the NFL Combine. Seeing Tyler Bray for the first time could certainly wow some GMs away. And second, it only takes one. One GM that he impresses with in an interview. One head coach that sees John Elway in him. One quarterback coach that promises he can work with him early on. And while he'll get a mid round grade from us, a 2nd round selection wouldn't be the least bit surprising for Tyler Bray.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Arizona Cardinals make Jen Welter first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Angels acquire Shane Victorino from the Red Sox


Clemson's Swinney wants Notre Dame in a conference

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel as Browns starter

David Price won't rule out Red Sox despite testy past

Bullying victim Jonathan Martin retiring from NFL

Why Jay Gruden may lose job if he can’t fix Robert Griffin III

Report: T.Y. Hilton wants similar contract to Dez Bryant

Nick Saban has incredible advice for his players on chasing girls

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

Astros’ playoff push prompts rescheduling of Taylor Swift

Answering the AFC East's biggest questions in 2015

Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

College football's top 10 coaches on the hot seat for 2015

Was Gregg Popovich close to retiring last year?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker