Could Tyler Bray be the steal of the 2013 NFL draft?

Tennessee QB has natural athleticism despite detractors

Tyler Bray steps away from his 6-6 measurement at Tennessee's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the abilities of recent UT players. Eighteen former Volunteers were vying for spots in the April 25 NFL Draft by participating in seven events in front of representatives from nearly every NFL team.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2013

Tyler Bray steps away from his 6-6 measurement at Tennessee's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the abilities of recent UT players. Eighteen former Volunteers were vying for spots in the April 25 NFL Draft by participating in seven events in front of representatives from nearly every NFL team. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tyler Bray on UT's Pro Day

Former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was asked about his legacy last week during the Vols' annual pro day workouts.

"We didn't win a lot of games," he replied.

Even though Bray was part of one of the strongest offensive units in Tennessee history, many fans still place much of the blame for the team's woes in 2012 on Bray's shoulders.

Today's blog entry says that characterization is unfair. Bray is a special talent. He's a rare physical specimen with a great arm. He's a natural athlete. And he should be a very good NFL quarterback.

Read more on Evan's Eleven blog.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments » 124

Geofffourmyle writes:

Bray might do alright if he had some decent coaching.

Walt

UT '81

KENVOL writes:

Could be good if he learns to take a hit.

Munsterlander writes:

I think Mr. Woodberry hit the nail on the head. 'Course he'll be ridiculed by the dimwitted contingent of the fan base.

NashvillePreds writes:

Q: Could Tyler Bray be the "steal" of the 2013 NFL draft?
A: No

bigorangejungle writes:

Tyler spent too much time basking in the glow of his media spotlight. One of the worst things that happened was to have somebody put radar on his ball speed. After that he was convinced that every pass had to reach Mach 1 whether it was near the receiver or not.

vol64 writes:

Bray doesn't function well at all in pressure situations in the final part of a game. Call it "choke" if you will but it will affect his abilities especially in the NFL. I see him as a mediocre QB, at best, in the NFL.

rtrchatt writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You must have not bothered watching the Alabama
game in BD North last fall. Then again, you will want to follow the same course of action October 2013.

jack4444 writes:

Was Ryan Leaf the steal of the '98 draft?

PUL4VOLS writes:

Bray had ample opportunities to win big games himself and did not do it. Yes most of the 2012 woes go to the defense but there were a few games where he could have stepped up and made the plays, he didn't. In a few other games, he just did not look interested. If that makes him a steal in the draft, go for it! I personally see him holding a clipboard and watching for a few years. If he hangs in there, he may get playing time. With all his talent, there is still something lacking between the ears. His maturing as a Pro or lack thereof will tell the tale of where his career finally goes. Personally, I hope he gets with a staff that can help him become better and maybe even one day start. We await the draft and whatever happens thereafter.

Vol1968 writes:

One could hope....a lot

tennrich1 writes:

Well lets bring this conversation back to the adult level...I too think Tyler will have to learn to handle pressure situations, read defenses, and make quicker and better decisions...No doubt he has most of the skills you need to compete on the SEC level at QB...I just think he struggled in the areas I mentioned...Do I think he can go to the NFL and have a successful career? NO DOUBT ABOUT IT...

MikeTheTiger writes:

He "could be" or he could be a bust. He does remind me a lot of Ryan Leaf. Very immature and also doesn't come across as a team leader. Believe me, the NFL front office guys know a lot about him and will learn a lot more before using a high draft pick on him. I wish him well.

OrangePride writes:

My assessment of Bray is that he is, and has been at best, a work in progress. He has all the tools to be a real steal and someone is going to land a boat load of potential when they draft him. With the right mentor and a little patience, he could turn out to be a very good QB. Without the right mentor and coaching, this kid could easily be another Ryan Leaf.

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is your Mullet U Alabama? Didn't Bart Starr go there? Ken Stabler? A guy named Namath?

Walt

UT '81

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

I have a question, What did Tyler Bray do that Casey Clausen did not do?

Tyler has the ability, but so have a lot of other guys. If he doesn't go 1st round, you may never hear from him again.

Ayres_Hall writes:

I hope he does well... but I'm not counting on it.

He'll only be a steal if he goes undrafted and then makes a team that carries three QBs.

notorange writes:

in response to jack4444:

Was Ryan Leaf the steal of the '98 draft?

Yes, and he continues to steal....

TigerShark10 writes:

Not likely. He doesn't have the maturity or character to succeed, unfortunately. He should have stayed another year at UT. He needs to call Heath Shular and ask him how his NFL career went.

beartn#223846 writes:

To me, the criticism for Bray is similar to the criticism that Manning never beat Florida. There was one game where he threw a critical pick (but the receiver dropped a TD pass on the previous play), but in his last game, two of the INT's hit the receiver right in the hands in stride.

dubyson writes:

I was going to read this, but then I remembered that my day would be better if I didn't waste my time trying figure out if one of the most losing quarterbacks in UT history was going to be a steal in the draft. Winners win and Talented losers still lose.

Geofffourmyle writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You said "NEVER," not a long time ago.

"not on a consistent basis" --well, at least that is harder to check.

Walt

UT '81

UTBEATEMALL writes:

The comments on here are hilarious! Some of you are straight comedians! There's no way you could be serious! Bray lead the offense with no consistent running game and no running back that scared a defense. He managed to force the ball to Da'Rick in year two when Z-ro was dropping every other pass just to give us a chance. He had no defense, no turnovers, and a few big drops. He has a very quick release and he stands tall in the pocket. He also is not afraid to sling it. That is important. For someone to compare him to a man that is a habitual liar and drug addict is beyond comedy! Bray competed in what most people would say is the most competitive conference in the nation at it's peak without the necessary support and gave us a fighting chance! If you can't respect that as a UT fan, the least you could do is shut the hell up or wish him the best!

Memphis_VOL_Alum writes:

The issue with Bray has always been between his ears. He has physicial talent but did not always put it to good use.

Shake_Bake writes:

in response to OrangePride:

My assessment of Bray is that he is, and has been at best, a work in progress. He has all the tools to be a real steal and someone is going to land a boat load of potential when they draft him. With the right mentor and a little patience, he could turn out to be a very good QB. Without the right mentor and coaching, this kid could easily be another Ryan Leaf.

Good post...you hit the nail on the head.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Ha Ha YEA Sure
He looks over weight.
I wish him the best.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Bray certainly has the arm to play in the NFL, but does he have the leadership ability to command the offense?? I'm thinking with the right system he could very well be a steal in this draft..I certainly haven't seen anything from Matt Barkley that suggests he's miles ahead of Bray, in fact I've got him and the Syracuse qb rated behind Bray. He should go as the 2nd qb taken if the NFL scouts truly are wanting a diamond in the rough potential qb with arguably the strongest arm in this year's class.

GerryOP writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude, your claim is foolish and shows how little you really know about college football. Oh, I get it, if it didn't happen in your brief lifetime ... it doesn't count. How old are you, 13?

I'm not a Bammer, but names like Starr, Namath, Stabler have been legends for decades. Sorry you missed them. Claiming they are not top NFL talent is foolish.

As I've told you before, take that "-UT Alumnus" tagline off your posts. It's embarrassing to a proud University.

Artistspot writes:

Mychal Rivera is the STEAL of the draft ya'll

GerryOP writes:

Not too many college QBs can leave after three years and jump to the pros. I thank Tyler Bray for all he did at UT, he was about the only bright light over the last three years, but I don't think he is an exception to my three-year rule. Not to pull even one of those "big" games into the "W" column in three years is hard to understand.

I watched Shuler struggle with the Redskins. He wasn't ready for the NFL either.

GerryOP writes:

in response to Artistspot:

Mychal Rivera is the STEAL of the draft ya'll

That, my Vol friend, my be true.

CrankE writes:

Tyler "The Steal" Bray.

Uh-huh. I'll print up the T-shirts.

Jenna1009 writes:

well he would be the committing the thief. He would have to have a major change in attitude and acceptance that he needs to learn and study harder. He has the Talent, but so far he only knows how to waste it.

chipmurphy461 writes:

Bray has not grown up, nor has he become a leader. If he doesn't do both quick, he'll be out of the NFL in a year or two.

cheetah-vol writes:

I think he'll be drafted. Not gonna say what round, because it doesn't matter. He has the raw skills and mechanics to do very well. The deciding factor is going to be how bad does he want to be a pro quarterback. How bad do you want it, Tyler? Are you ready to do the work it's gonna take to succeed? I hope you are.

manniesghost1903 writes:

Any value Tyler Bray may have rest for most part in the lack of quality quarterback play in 2012 class. When Gino Smith is said to be the leading quarterback prospect in this group, it really says more about the quarterback class coming out of the 2011 college season. In my opinion, the quarterback candidates coming out of the 2012 season will all serve as backups for the backups of the quarterbacks signed from the 2011 season.

rb4346 writes:

in response to EllstinLimehouse:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If that is all you can think of to post, then you really need to get a life. I wish nothing but the best for Tyler and the rest of the Vols in the draft.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Not too many college QBs can leave after three years and jump to the pros. I thank Tyler Bray for all he did at UT, he was about the only bright light over the last three years, but I don't think he is an exception to my three-year rule. Not to pull even one of those "big" games into the "W" column in three years is hard to understand.

I watched Shuler struggle with the Redskins. He wasn't ready for the NFL either.

Shuler wasn't in nearly the sophisticated offense TB was forced into by Chaney, nor did he have the arm TB possesses. Once Heath was forced to make reads he rarely made the 2nd read much less the 3rd. I know Tyler stares down his 1st read sometimes, but in the NFL he's going to have to thread the needle regardless if the receiver is covered or not, and his seam pattern needs work (he overthrows that pass 1 out of 3 passes). But, if he were to get drafted by Andy Reid or some other quality qb coach he's got more than a decent chance to be successful.

rb4346 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Well lets bring this conversation back to the adult level...I too think Tyler will have to learn to handle pressure situations, read defenses, and make quicker and better decisions...No doubt he has most of the skills you need to compete on the SEC level at QB...I just think he struggled in the areas I mentioned...Do I think he can go to the NFL and have a successful career? NO DOUBT ABOUT IT...

Good post. I think Tyler is going to surprise many people.

rb4346 writes:

in response to UTBEATEMALL:

The comments on here are hilarious! Some of you are straight comedians! There's no way you could be serious! Bray lead the offense with no consistent running game and no running back that scared a defense. He managed to force the ball to Da'Rick in year two when Z-ro was dropping every other pass just to give us a chance. He had no defense, no turnovers, and a few big drops. He has a very quick release and he stands tall in the pocket. He also is not afraid to sling it. That is important. For someone to compare him to a man that is a habitual liar and drug addict is beyond comedy! Bray competed in what most people would say is the most competitive conference in the nation at it's peak without the necessary support and gave us a fighting chance! If you can't respect that as a UT fan, the least you could do is shut the hell up or wish him the best!

Some team is going to get one heck of a QB (Bray) in this draft. He may carry a clipboard for a year or so (how many other great QB's did the same thing when they were drafted) but he will make some team proud that they drafted him. I would think a true Vol fan would want him to succeed.

SevenT writes:

Bray is a two-bit beer bottle throwing punk. The NFL will chew him up and spit him out.

rb4346 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Bray is a two-bit beer bottle throwing punk. The NFL will chew him up and spit him out.

Would expect a response like that from you.

Slats writes:

Was only nominally successful in College and might hang around for a year or two in the Pro's until they realize he is not Pro material! Bye, Bye, Sweetie!

vut5686#1405392 writes:

The waterfront has been covered. Everybody has on opinion of Mr. QB. What has sort of been missing is a critique of the article, itself. I think all the factors that draw negative attention to Bray were well laid out; the writer did not make a convincing argument to refute most of the assumptions.

That said, Bray is a man with talent who has not shown a convincing leadership mindset to give that talent a chance to excel. He did little to make others around him better. It would appear it is up to him, which route he chooses. He will get drafted. He will get a look. He will have an opportunity for a pro career. He will have to overcome all those correctly perceived attributes....in front of team mates, coaches...and fans, to realize his potential. Even odds. I would not bet against him...nor on him. I abstain.

Ironcity writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You nailed it. Not sure why our fans can't see that this team was so poorly coached that the players really ahd no chance. The hate towards Bray rivals that of the hate and blame towards Foster back a few years ago. EVERYONE said he would never make it and that he was the reason we stunk. AS we look back its easy to realize he wasn't the problem and either was Bray.

rockypop writes:

After listening to Tyler Bray being interviewed on a Nashville sports talk radio program, I'm not sure how he even got admitted to UT. If that's the best he can handle himself, then I doubt he'll make it past the interview process.

Living in Nashville, I'm reminded of another super-talented QB who had Bray's talent - plus mobility, along with Bray's attitude, who now is broke, out of the league and trying to make a comeback. This guy also came out after his junior year with not a lot of experience, but at least with a BCS national championship.

I'm not saying I want Bray to fail - I don't, because that would reflect badly on him, his coaches, teammates, school - everything. But, the NFL hasn't been terribly welcoming to kids with his kind of history. And, given the fact that he had three years at UT to get it together, and really didn't for the most part, then I remain skeptical but hopeful.

underthehill writes:

in response to vut5686#1405392:

The waterfront has been covered. Everybody has on opinion of Mr. QB. What has sort of been missing is a critique of the article, itself. I think all the factors that draw negative attention to Bray were well laid out; the writer did not make a convincing argument to refute most of the assumptions.

That said, Bray is a man with talent who has not shown a convincing leadership mindset to give that talent a chance to excel. He did little to make others around him better. It would appear it is up to him, which route he chooses. He will get drafted. He will get a look. He will have an opportunity for a pro career. He will have to overcome all those correctly perceived attributes....in front of team mates, coaches...and fans, to realize his potential. Even odds. I would not bet against him...nor on him. I abstain.

Well stated..talented arm but has not shown leadership..today's NFL qbs have to be leaders and may need more mobility than Bray has..I think the majority wish him well and also wish he would have displayed a bit more class during his time at UT..

GerryOP writes:

in response to Ironcity:

You nailed it. Not sure why our fans can't see that this team was so poorly coached that the players really ahd no chance. The hate towards Bray rivals that of the hate and blame towards Foster back a few years ago. EVERYONE said he would never make it and that he was the reason we stunk. AS we look back its easy to realize he wasn't the problem and either was Bray.

Nailed it? Nonsense! All 45 did was offer the same old tired excuses why Bray did not simply take the role as the leader of those teams. He never threw anyone under the bus, but his supporters keep coming up with the same, tired excuses for not being the leader. Just like Coach Dooley was expected to deliver victories regardless of the conditions he was coaching under, Bray too should have pulled at least one victory from the loss column ... there were plenty of games close enough to win. He may have (quote) a strong arm and natural athletic ability (unquote), but if he were a true leader he would have found some way to win at leat one of those close games. Why? Because that's what leaders do! Tyler Bray could not do it.

And do not forget one other fact, Tyler Bray came to UT to play for Lane Kiffin, not Derek Dooley. I do not think that Bray ever got over the fact that Kiffin left him in Knoxville, and he was not man enough to accept a one-year penalty as the price to follow Kiffin to SC. But, go ahead, blame it all on Coach Dooley.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Nailed it? Nonsense! All 45 did was offer the same old tired excuses why Bray did not simply take the role as the leader of those teams. He never threw anyone under the bus, but his supporters keep coming up with the same, tired excuses for not being the leader. Just like Coach Dooley was expected to deliver victories regardless of the conditions he was coaching under, Bray too should have pulled at least one victory from the loss column ... there were plenty of games close enough to win. He may have (quote) a strong arm and natural athletic ability (unquote), but if he were a true leader he would have found some way to win at leat one of those close games. Why? Because that's what leaders do! Tyler Bray could not do it.

And do not forget one other fact, Tyler Bray came to UT to play for Lane Kiffin, not Derek Dooley. I do not think that Bray ever got over the fact that Kiffin left him in Knoxville, and he was not man enough to accept a one-year penalty as the price to follow Kiffin to SC. But, go ahead, blame it all on Coach Dooley.

Gerry, your my boy..However, how can you lambaste Bray for not hightailing it back to SoCal to be with LK?? Also, don't forget the horrible defense that UT's offense was trying to comeback from after 2 and 3 play drives surrendered quick scores..Any defense at all and UT wins 8 maybe 9 games with a bowl win. Bray was the qb not the DC..

tovolny writes:

Bray left the bushel on the candle. It was too much trouble for him to spend the sweat to pick it up. I don't see the flame lasting long enough now to shed a lot of light. SAD...I hope I am wrong on this.

lstbodeanvol writes:

what round was JEFF FLOWERS drafted ??????

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