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.
Brazil and his teammate run a common route combination where he’s running a corner route from the slot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the ball arrives, Brazill leaves his feet, and angles both extended arms to his left to make this off-centered reception.
Now that’s a Brandon Lloyd-like reception – given he can finish the play.
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.
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.