Signing Tyler Bray Was A Great Move By The Kansas City Chiefs

Yesterday, I wrote an article criticizing Kansas City General Manager John Dorsey for wasting picks in the 2013 NFL Draft last weekend on players that may not have been drafted at all and may have been available as undrafted players later. In all fairness, I spent much of my Sunday afternoon last weekend screaming at my television screen for the Chiefs to grab Tyler Bray. I yelled and cursed and pouted all day to no avail.

Nov 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Tyler Bray (8) passes against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second half at Vanderbilt Stadium. The Commodores beat the Volunteers 41-18. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US Presswire

Imagine my satisfaction and surprise when Bray was not drafted at all by anyone and the team that jumped into the breach was the Kansas City Chiefs. If I am going to complain that the Chiefs took a bunch of guys nobody else was going to draft, I have to give the kudos for not selecting a player that was not selected by anyone, and getting him as soon as the draft was over. This is why I am a blogger and not a NFL general manager.

So, why am I so excited about a quarterback that not one team in the NFL felt worthy of being drafted? Tyler Bray has some significant talent. walterfootball.com believed he could be drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round.

In college Bray struggled with his decision-making at times. He was repeatedly hurt by dropped passes and Tennessee’s program had a lot of turmoil over the last few seasons. Bray wasn’t in the best place to succeed and make the most of his physical talents.

However, NFL coaches are going to like the teaching he received from Jim Chaney at Tennessee. Chaney is well regarded in the NFL and has given Bray preparation in a pro style offense.

If Bray is developed well, he could turn into a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. Because Bray is a project with some significant accuracy issues to overcome, he’ll probably fall to the second day of the draft. Bray would be best in a pro-style offense with a lot of downfield passing based off of play-action with a quality running game. A West Coast offense wouldn’t be as good of a fit for Bray.

CBSSports.com had the 6’6″, 232-pounder going late in the third round. It is a long drop from there to undrafted free agency status. Rob Rang at CBSSports.com recognized Bray’s weaknesses but also mentioned that Bray is terrific on slant routes that are so popular in the NFL and that he may throw the best deep ball of any of the quarterbacks that were available in this draft.

STRENGTHS: Bray possesses a great deal of natural arm talent and possesses even more confidence in his ability to fit the ball between tight windows. In this way, he is reminiscent of former SEC standout Jay Cutler (Vanderbilt).

He’s consistently more accurate when driving the ball rather than touch passes and has become especially lethal due to his timing and accuracy on the slant and post with his big receivers. Furthermore, he might be the best of the top quarterback prospects at delivering a consistently ball on the deep out.

WEAKNESSES: He boasts a very quick release but doesn’t fully take advantage of his height due to a three-quarter delivery. He’s also a bit lazy with his fundamentals, failing to step into the direction of his passes. This consistently forces his receivers to adjust to his throws, cutting down on the potential for yardage after the catch and leading his teammates into some hellacious hits.

For all of natural gifts, Bray remains a work in progress when projecting him to the NFL. For one, he takes the vast majority of his snaps out of the shotgun. More important, while willing to step up into a disintegrating pocket, he is a long-legged, relatively slow-footed athlete who has only marginal mobility overall.

Nov 24, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Tyler Bray (8) looks to pass during the first half of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Burke from SI.com, after the NFL Combine, noted that during drills, Bray was accurate, which is a big knock against him, and Burke felt Bray really helped his draft status.

Say hello to your high-riser at the QB position out of the combine. Bray weighed in at 232, up a whopping 24 pounds from his final game at Tennessee. Like Glennon and Nassib, he’s far from a burner or an option guy, so his high 40 time shouldn’t hinder him too much.

And that’s especially true because Bray zinged the ball (and did so accurately) during drills. There’s definitely room for quarterbacks to rise and fall between now and the draft, and Bray’s weekend work has him trending in the right direction.

Also from an SI.com scouting report:

Perhaps the best arm talent in the Draft, Bray makes 20+ yard throws on a rope with remarkable ease. When he is on and striding into throws he can fit passes into very tight spots with outstanding zip and accuracy. Although he is not a good athlete, Bray can slide within pocket to avoid rush, can re-set feet and gets rid of the ball well. He does a good job of identifying the blitz pre-snap and gets the ball to the receiver in area that was vacated by blitzer. Few quarterbacks can make the 15 to 20 yard skinny post throw with the zip and accuracy to allow the receiver to catch pass and start up the field in a flash. When he is not pressured he will sit in the pocket and goes through his progressions well to find an open receiver. Additionally, when he senses/feels pressure he has consistently shown a willingness to throw the ball away.

I cannot remember evaluating a quarterback in recent years who frustrated me so much. There is no doubt in my mind that Bray has frontline starter’s talent, but his footwork, deliberate throwing motion and inconsistent vision of the defense led to his production being so ridiculously inconsistent. While he is not a top athlete and looks extremely skinny for a 6’6 quarterback, he is nimble enough to slide and avoid rushers within the pocket and is able to re-set and throw with surprising ease. Overall, Bray’s performance at Tennessee does not warrant being drafted before the third round, which is why I have given him a third round grade. However, I also have no doubt that if you put Bray’s 50 best throws on a highlight reel they would be as good as any other quarterback in this year’s draft class. Then when you add what I believe will be an outstanding passing display at his Pro Day (Few quarterbacks get to throw to two elite receivers and a good tight end prospect that he is completely comfortable with), I have a feeling that some team is going to gamble on Bray late in the first round or right at the top of the second round.

All and all, it is obvious Tyler Bray has the skills to be a good starting quarterback in the NFL. He has trouble with his accuracy, consistency, and mobility. He also has one of the strongest arms around. He is probably better than Ricky Stanzi right now. The Chiefs finally have the time and depth to properly develop a starting quarterback. Tyler Bray is that quarterback. Except for his mobility, all of Bray’s weaknesses can be corrected with good coaching and hard work. There is a very good chance Tyler Bray is the quarterback of the future for the Kansas City Chiefs, and he didn’t even cost the Chiefs a draft pick. It is a terrific signing and Dorsey should be commended.

Topics: 2013 NFL Draft, Kansas City Chiefs, Tyler Bray

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  • Chowder

    Have faith! We just need to keep Albert now.

    • Guest

      So we can waste, potentialially, one of the best LT’s to come out of the draft in over a decade!
      I say, get whatever value we can out of him, after this season, and send his selfish ass packing! I know most of you want to keep our beloved baby behemoth. I’ve been raked over the coals for my opinion. But I won’t waver and watch our FIRST 1st round pick’s talent be wasted by a selfish, non-team player, this, no where worth what he is making this year or what he wants in his LT deal!
      And I think Dorsey & Reid know this, also……

      • Joel Wagler

        I’m with you. I am off the Branden Albert Bandwagon. I hate when players tell their team what they will or will not do. I wish I could get away with that at my work…

        • Guest

          Thanks for the positive feedback, man. I needed that for a little morale support, as I have been blasted, SO MANY times, if I reply with a comment NEG about BA! I just can’t believe how many Chiefs Fans have supported his cry baby, ME-NOT-TEAM attitude!
          Don’t get me wrong I used to like the Big Guy, until he started his, “I want a LT contract that pays me what “I” want (TOO MUCH MONEY) or I’m gonna sit-out the season & bitch, until I get what “I” want! Plus I WILL NOT play RT this year, either! (Even though he’s getting paid $10 Million!
          That what I call a selfish, non-team first asshole!
          I honestly think he’s gone after this year & I just get crapped on by other Chiefs Fans, like Albert is Willie Roaf, or something! So he only let 1-2 sacks happen on his side, there were plenty of times he let the QB get blasted like a Rag Doll, no tome toon the false starts.
          I just can’t agree with all these fans think he’s so damn GREAT!
          If he was, he would have been on another team by now answer would have had a second round pick, if not with the’Fins, at least with another team. Try to convence me that Great LT’s are not a very important to a team and that are not highly sought after?…
          I still can’t believe we caved in and accommodated his self centered ASS!
          I think, that dung-for-brains Jeff Ireland, GM of the ‘fins was a factor in this.
          I just hope Albert steps up now and earns his unworthy $10 mil, & doesn’t use “no long term contract”, Drama Queen act to help screw our season up. I really wanted to see what Fisher was bringing us at LT!
          I guess we’ll have to wait ’till next Season?

          • Doug McD

            Keep slinging the mud and using caps it gives a very positive impression. Get over it and enjoy what we have! Imagine an OL with the talent of 4-5 Eric Fishers.

          • Texas Chief

            I know there are many other factors to this situation that I do not know of. And I do realize the Chiefs already gave Albert 9 million and some change. That’s why I sit here in Texas and watch every Chiefs game on the Sunday Ticket. IMO, sit his ass on the bench if he doesn’t want to help out the team by starting at RT. I also would like to see Ryan Lilja come back for a year to help out on the line. Hopefully he could retire on a better note than last year.

      • Doug McD

        Nobody especially R&D are going to waste any talent including BA’s! Just because you think poorly of BA is no reason to just dump him on the side of the road. The man has talent, no if’s and’s or butt’s! If you think he is winey just listen to yourself, the man just wants to get paid for what he does.

  • Guest

    Great Blog, Joel! I totally agree and think he could be THE steal of the draft! Combined with Andy Reid and Company to help him grow-up and mature, as well as hone Bray’s skill’s into not just a good QB, but a Franchise QB!
    He threw the fastest ball at the Combine, almost 60mph! That’s a “live” arm!
    The kid just needs the direction, guidance, and coaching to succeed! What better Mentor and QB molder to have, than Andy Reid, as our HC? He IS the future Franchise QB, we have been waiting to get. It might take 3-5 years and the commitment to learn & listen from Reid, Smith and others, but it is a real possibility and I, for one, am very excited about the future of our GREAT Franchise!
    I also think it will make Alex Smith excel, as he won’t have another, potential, replacement breathing down his back and he will be a very capable Mentor, because of his commitment and leadership…..
    Just wanted to add that I REALLY respected your statement: This is why I am a blogger and not a NFL general manager. There are too many Fans nitpicking our new GM/HC’s decisions! IMHO, I THINK we are very fortunate to have Clark Hunt, get real, and hire the REAL NFL minds to turn our Franchise back around and I can’t wait to watch it happen!

    • Texas Chief

      Great comment. Thanks. I get so tired of the negativity on these posts. I am like a kid waitng for Christmas, for this new season under the new coaching staff to get started.

      • Guest

        No, THANK YOU, Texas Chief! You are in the minority of Chiefs Fans, on Fansided, that hold the same opinion of Brandon Albert that I do. But, step lightly around here, as I just got taken to the wood shed by one of the Top Level Admin’s at the AA site! A Chiefs Fan Blog Site that I have always supported, defended, and commented on, for over 3 years!
        This is what kind of biased BS you get thrown back at you, when you offend one of the members of the beloved inner circle, aka “Good Ole Boys Club”:
        Lyle Graversen KCredrage • 14 hours ago −
        KCredrage, I think I speak for most of the AA staff when I say that we welcome all opinions and takes on all things Chiefs. However the debates shouldn’t get personal. If you want to take on Danny’s opinion or takes on topics, cool, get after it. However, when posts become more of a personal attack (regardless of if its you or Danny or myself) that crosses the line and won’t be tolerated.
        End of Reply….

        So, after over 3 years of commentary and backing the Arrowhead Addict Fan Site, I get a nasty tongue-lashing threat from one of the, apparently, “Staff”….aka Bloggers that I always thought wrote good articles, respected his opinion, and was a decent, unbiased Chiefs Fan, for being accused of “personally attacking” another member of, what I used to call when I worked at John Deere & Co., part of “The Family”!
        The blue noses that used to go out Drinking Together after work at the same Upper Crust Sports Bar, every other Night, back-stabbing all the serfs that didn’t join their social Elitist Club or were not Pedigreed to their standard and are considered a loser and outsider! I’ll bet you know exactly what I mean…..
        It is OK, when one of THEM reply to one of your comments and talk down to you, is so condescending he tells you how to think and calls you lazy, and starts his retort by listing his College Major, Minor and how Hard he studied, and not to be so ignorant to just Blindly Trust our newly hired GM/HC to evaluate and sign new talent. ( But that IS NOT a personal attack on me????)

        So Thank You for letting me vent Tex. I had enough NEG replies, attacking me and some just plan homers that are so damn naive and ignorant you wonder if they are inbred or just simpletons.
        So you get the honor of reading the last post I ever make here, because I know it will never cease and I will constantly confronted by either The Family or the inbreed hollow-heads will just keep hassling me and it just is NOT worth trying to communicate with the incompetents!
        I went to HS in Eagle Pass, TX and I loved the time I spent there, even though I was the minority ethnic race by 10 to 1! But I learned to have
        A new respect for the Real Mexican culture that I lived amongst. Some of the nicest, friendliest, and most generous humans to live with and still have many friends from there…
        Did you read Doug McDumbasses reply to me above? I have NEVER said to just dump Albert, that is such an inbreed response.
        And as far as “deserves to be paid”, HE IS GETTING PAID, you loser, $10 mil and he still insists on being a stubborn self-centered non-team player. And if McDumbass thinks Brandon should just be given a lucrative LT contract, because he works for it. That is so laughable.
        NFL Football is a business and a revolving door one at that,
        I believe you asked if he got his $10 mill yet?
        Nope! He has a contract for it, but he has to show up toads tort practices ( now that they caved in on his no RT vote of loyalty…..
        He will get paid through the year, with a signing Bonus too, I think!

        Hey Texas Chief, I am just as pumped as you to see what we have on the field in pads and am also anxiously awaiting the start of the season!

        So I now pass the torch to try and reason with the unreasonable! OK!
        I have a terminal illness and if they want to gang up on me, I just don’t need the stress!

        Good Luck &
        GO CHIEFS, KICK ASS!

    • Chris

      All of these things were said about Ricky Stanzi as well when he was drafted. The one line in the blog, “He is probably better than Ricky Stanzi”…how does anyone know that? I would like to see what Andy Reid thinks of Stanzi…he hasn’t dropped him yet.

  • 848484

    BRAY = LEAF…..JUST WON’T HAPPEN AS FAST……. MY ONLY COMMENT.

  • Wade Stapleton

    I’ve been a Tennessee fan all my life. Bray could either thrill me or disgust me from play to play. His talent is unquestionable, but his attitude seemed to be lacking at times. But I’m pulling for him to make it with the Chiefs, so I’ll be watching KC over the next few years. If coaches can get his attention and refine his talent, you guys will have a very good QB. And you will have gotten a steal in the process.

  • Kenneth Boyd

    I have seen Bray a lot. I would not compare him to Leaf. He just needs direction. Leaf was a hot head, Bray is not. If Andy can get him to listen, you guys will have a good QB. This guy has been humbled. Mark my words, you guys will have a hell of a QB for next year. Not this year but definitely next year.