Monday, April 29, 2013

Is Tyler Bray the 2013 NFL Draft's real Mr. Irrelevant?

South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham was the final selection of the 2013 NFL Draft. In doing so, he earned the dubious title of "Mr. Irrelevant." His selection by the Indianapolis Colts was given as much pomp and circumstance by the NFL as first overall pick Eric Fisher got when drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Getting more attention, however, was the notable NFL Draft snub given to former Tennessee starting quarterback Tyler Bray, who went undrafted despite having what is considered a strong throwing arm. For Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist Mike Strange, this is enough to give Bray the real "Mr Irrelevant" title.

"Bray, we assume, was rebuked because of A, concerns about his maturity and/or work ethic, and B, flaws in his mechanics and decision-making. He could have overcome one, but not both. 

As for the latter issue, his 69 career TD passes were almost equally divided between SEC and non-conference opponents. But of his 28 interceptions, only five were in non-conference games and 23 against SEC defenses.

At first glance, he looks foolish now for forfeiting another year of seasoning in the nation’s best conference. But improving his stock wasn’t a given. His four leading receivers are gone and the offense of new coach Butch Jones is not tailor-made for a 6-6 pocket passer."

The maturity issues include a wide-range of on-and-off the field actions, including an infamous throat-slash gesture in a bowl  game against North Carolina that the Vols went on to lose, an even more notorious incident where involving throwing beer bottles off his apartment balcony, and oh yeah, that back tattoo.

Ironically, Bray signed a free free agent contract with the Chiefs,which means he will be at the Chief's training camp with Fisher. Bray will be competing for a spot as a backup for Alex Smith. Making the team is definitely not a given, however. His decision to leave Tennessee early may still come back to bite him in the back.

(via The Knoxville News-Sentinel)