No-Huddle Series: Ohio WR Lavon Brazill


If you haven’t seen the announcement about my No-Huddle Series, read here. Since most of you don’t click links when you read (neither do I – at least not all of them), I’ll emphasize what’s important: this series is one-play displays of certain things I like about a player. They are not meant to generate sweeping conclusions of a player’s potential

Player No.1 in this series is Ohio wide receiver Lavon Brazill, a preseason All-American as a junior who missed most of that season due to injury. I have no expectation where Brazill will be drafted, if at all. I think he has skills to potentially develop into an NFL starter. I like what he flashes as a route runner, athlete, and catcher of the football. Here’s one play that embodies much of these positives:

This is Brazill’s final target against Temple in their November match up. The play is a 3rd and 7 with 8:00 left in the game. Ohio comes to the line in a 10-personnel, 2×2 set with Brazill split slot left.

Brazill before the snap with the cornerback giving up eight yards of cushion on the receiver.

Brazil and his teammate run a common route combination where he’s running a corner route from the slot.

Brazill runs the corner route and the outside receiver runs an in-cut.

Brazill gets free up the left flat with the help of a good jab step with his inside foot and the awareness to swim his inside arm over the defensive back as he exited his break.

Here is the jab step to set up the break.

The swim move is difficult to see with the photo I have below because I’m not a graphics guy, but on video Brazill’s timing with raising his inside arm over the defender is good.

I know, it’s all a blur. The Temple cornerback probably felt the same way at this moment.

Fortunately, there’s a great close up of the exciting conclusion of this pass play. After his break, Brazill extends his lead on the corner and then turns inside to track the ball.

Brazill is tracking the ball over his inside shoulder, but the trajectory of the pass is going to land in the spot marked in yellow? Miscommunication or poor ball tracking? I have my theory, but unless we ask the quarterback or Brazill, hard to tell.

If Brazill is truly running a corner route, he was probably better served to track this ball over his outside shoulder. If it’s a corner fade, he’s tracking the ball well if you expect him to turn inside as he adjusts to the ball – especially if Brazill and his quarterback discussed throwing this as a back-shoulder play and neither expected Brazill to get this open.

This is the fascinating guessing game that happens with routes when you’re an outside observer and lack the knowledge of the two players working together. It’s why evaluating receivers has its difficulties. If you have an idea what’s going on and you believe it’s more definitive than I portray it, let me know – I’m your student.

As Brazill begins to fade to the sideline, you can see by the position of his head looked nearly straight into the air at a 12 o’clock position, that he will need to make a difficult adjustment to continue tracking the football.

This frame shows where Brazill will have to adjust. The next frame shows the Ohio receiver doing it.

This looks a lot like Lance Lewis’ corner fade that I showed last month: great extension of his arms and body to meet the ball.

As the ball arrives, Brazill leaves his feet, and angles both extended arms to his left to make this off-centered reception.

Both hands on either side of the ball with plenty of room to stay in bounds.

Now that’s a Brandon Lloyd-like reception – given he can finish the play.

Brazill exhibits good concentration to look the ball into his hands while getting one foot down in the field of play. As long as he maintains control of the ball, he’s good to go.

Brazill manages to maintain possession and insure the sideline judge makes the right call by getting his knee in bounds and using his elbows to brace his impact with the ground.

Excellent concentration and body control, which is great for college receivers but is a necessity for pro wide outs.

Upon landing, Brazill keeps the ball tight and still into his chest – setting up a first and goal at the Temple 3.

Like I said to begin this post, I don’t know where he’ll be drafted if at all. However, Brazill’s speed, skill at adjusting to the ball, burgeoning route skills, and excellent concentration and awareness of the field are all things scouts have likely noted. Keep an eye on him.

Categories: Evaluations, No-Huddle Series, Players, Wide ReceiverTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

10 comments

  1. Brazill is one I really like. The team that gets him may be getting another Marcus Colston. I made a comment on my blog about him being a sleeper WR in this draft. He can be counted upon in clutch situations.

  2. Brazill is the REAL DEAL..a GM will get a STEAL with this guy he has 2nd round talent but due to MAC biase will Get over looked a bit. He made 5-6 catches this year that only 3-4 wr in the nation couldve made.

  3. Reblogged this on The Rookie Scouting Portfolio and commented:

    Another guy from my April No-Huddle Series looking good in camp. LaVon Brazill earning first-team reps. It’s early, but when a sixth-round pick gets a chance to take first-team reps that’s worth monitoring.

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