Sunday, 28 February 2010

POTD: Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati

By Kip Earlywine

I've come pretty close to covering what I think are the realistic options for Seattle at #6 and #14. I still have a few 1st round names to go, but I'm going to start covering 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round options from now until draft day. If you've got a player you want me to look at, be sure to post it in the comments (Toby Gerhart is next). I thought I'd do a preview of Gilyard, who really caught my eye today in WR drills. He reminds me so much of Deion Branch, its kind of scary. See for yourself.

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 187 lbs.
40 time: 4.56/4.62


  • Snappy hands, catches and secures the ball lightning quick
  • Reaches top speed very quickly
  • Effortless, smooth runner
  • Concise routes
  • Very quick
  • Good over the shoulder catching ability
  • Accomplished kick returner
  • Highly productive, consistent


  • Slight Frame
  • Average speed
  • Not overly physical
  • Body catches a little too often
  • Not especially shifty
  • Not a big YAC threat
  • Comes from spread offense
  • Not a #1 WR

My thoughts:

Branch hasn't exactly had a sterling career since joining the Seahawks, but that's partly due to injuries, partly due to a lack of chemistry with Hasselbeck, and partly due to an iffy scheme fit with Holmgren and Knapp. Seattle will probably have a new QB in a year or two, and a new scheme is already here. Jeremy Bates runs a New England-ish offensive scheme and GM John Schneider has gone on record saying that he thinks Deion Branch will be a good fit for the new system. However, Branch is unlikely to capitalize on this, as he is oft-injured, over 30, and might have played his last snap in Seattle.

Branch's would-be successor, Deon Butler, is a bit of an oddity in that he has the skills of a slot WR and the speed of a deep threat but the size/frame for neither. He's also a Tim Ruskell holdover and its unclear exactly how the new regime views him. If Carroll and company do not view Butler as their Eddie Royal, they may attempt to add one between rounds 2-4. Gilyard is incredibly similar to a young Branch, and other receivers might fit the role as well. Jordan Shipley of Texas has drawn many comparisons to the Patriots' Wes Welker. I'd consider Gilyard and Shipley to be "outside looking in" guys at this point, but both are certainly worth keeping an eye on just in case.

I'm not a combine detractor, but I agree with its critics that some of the skill position drills are basically worthless. Watching a WR catch 5 passes in 5 seconds as if from a conveyor belt tells us nothing about his ability to catch them in a real game. So while admittedly I don't take anything from these types of drills, I thought Gilyard stood out in them. I really liked his discipline and the quickness with his hands.

When I went to look up footage of him online in real games, I saw the same thing. Like Deion Branch, he attacks the ball with his hands, and very quickly secures the ball into his body while keeping the ball under complete control. Not many WR can do that as well as Gilyard can. I was impressed. I could summarize Gilyard's entire skillset in just one word: Crisp.

Gilyard is not a #1 WR, and he's not the Brandon Marshall type that both Schneider and Carroll covet, but he could fit nicely for Bates. For Cincinnati he was a good security blanket type with some big play ability. In the NFL, he could be an 60-80 catch a year #2 if placed in the right offense. Whether the Seahawks take him or not depends completely on how they view Butler and what role they see him in, if any. Gilyard figures to be taken in round 2-3.


Jeremy Brown said...

I was watching the combine today (unemployed) and Gilyard stood out to me for sure. Jacoby Jones could be a Special Teams guy like Hester for us should be trade up for more picks.

Gilyard was awesome and I think Spiller's speed is not a myth, I would like to see that speed in Seahawk Blue next year.

Great Blog.

Jeremy Brown said...

Oh Toby Gerhart is impressive without pads on. He looks a whole lot more athletic than he does when he plays. I wonder if that is his style or if he doesn't have the intangibles to succeed at the NFL level?

Anonymous said...

Hey Kip,

Thanks for insight. I have been glued to the NFL Network since the Combine started. Can you give us a scouting report on Ben Tate and Montario Hardesty.

Thanks ,


Kip Earlywine said...

From what I hear, Gerhart is pretty 1 dimensional, but is good at what he does. Sounds like the Seahawk version of TJ Duckett. I liked Duckett when he was here and I thought cutting him was a mistake. I'm not sure where I would draft Gerhart though if he's truly so 1 dimensional.

Kip Earlywine said...

You bet. Tate and Hardesty have had a lot of buzz lately. I look forward to previewing them.

Charles said...

Kip can do you one on Freddie Barnes who wasnt invited to the combine? Would be very interested because he might be had very late and could be good for us.

Anonymous said...

Charles Scott of LSU please!

CLanterman said...

I like Gilyard, but only if he's at the end of round two or beginning of round three. Especially if a Damian Willliams is available at 40, it seems like Gilyard would have to be at least 65 to be of equal value.

ChavaC said...

Yah I second Hardesty. Guy looks lilke a legit stud, I don't get why most people give him a 4th/5th grade.

Anonymous said...

Can you do Joe McKnight at some point? Thanks.

Jayce said...

I would also like to see one on Freddie Barnes because he did well at the bowl game. Also Jacoby Ford because he reminds me of Desean Jackson.

trrrroy said...

Hey Kip, I see your already getting quite a few ideas, but I'd love to see a write up on Sean Canfield. I've been hearing he's the Hawks most likely late round QB.

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned about the defensive backfield. Some players I like there are:
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB/KR, 6’-1”, 205, Indiana (PA)

Myron Lewis, CB/S, 6'-2". 205, Vanderbuilt.

Jerome Murphy, CB, 6'-3/8", 191 from So. Florida

Ralphy said...

I would love to see a write up on Lucien Antoine the safety out of Oklahoma State. He's from Haiti and didn't start playing football until five years ago. He plays fearless and hits just as hard as Taylor Mays. Should be a late round pick.

CLanterman said...

I'll second the Sean Canfield request since it seems like Pete Carroll might be interested in him, having played against him.
I'm also interested in some of the CBs in the #40 range.

Anonymous said...

Whar is the realistic outlook for the Seahawks picking a goood tall cornerback in the middle/later rounds (4-6)and or a later round safety? Their pass defense sucked last year and it wasn't just due to lack of effective rush. Trufant I hear was the most penalized CB and he only played in 10 games.

Anonymous said...

Harry Coleman, LB/or/SS, LSU probable 7th rounder or undrafted. Has height & speed & upside. Special teamer?

Anonymous said...

2006 247 388 3031 63.7 7.81 88 26 10 26 146.24
2007 355 543 3652 65.4 6.73 76 27 13 22 133.50
2008 251 376 2784 66.8 7.40 93 21 6 20 144.19
2009 318 456 3438 69.7 7.54 82 28 7 17 150.26

Kip Earlywine said...

I think the chances of drafting a tall CB in rounds 4-6 are very high. Carroll/Schneider prefer Big CBs, and unless you count Lucas, we don't have one right now. There isn't a true "big" CB with a 1st round grade right now, and some of the bigger CBs would probably be reaches at #40.

Zone scheme is supposed to mask coverage and speed issues. Its pretty common to see big CBs labeled as zone coverage guys. I doubt we'll see a corner taken in the 1st, unless Haden falls to #14 and the FO can't resist BPA even if he's not exactly what they are looking for. There could be some worthwhile options in rounds 4-6, like a player Clanterman suggested, Sherrick McManis.