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Scouting Reports On Gresham

Here are some scouting reports from various draft publications on our newest Bengal, TE Jermaine Gresham.

Pro Football Draft Guide 2010

Upside:  If healthy, he’s far and away the top tight end available this year.  The total package as a receiver, Gresham has great hands and will amke the catch in traffic.  He has the speed and athleticism to stretch the middle of the field and pick up yards after the catch, he can line up in the slot and he can hold his own as an in-line blocker. 

Downside:  It’ll be a wait-and-see approach after surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee.  He’s not always physical as a blocker, so losing any of his athleticism will keep him from being an elite tight end.

Bottom Line:  He had surgery early enough that Gresham could be close to 100 percent by training camp.  If he comes all the way back, he has All-Pro potential.

#1 Tight End on their board.

Lindy’s Pro Football Draft Guide

Release:  Despite his height, he gets off the line quickly whether standing up or in a three-point stance.  Finds a second gear to accelerate past linebackers.  Doesn’t face the jam often, and must learn to use his hands to defeat in.

Hands:  Makes some very difficult catches in traffic, but still short-arms some balls and allows others into his chest.  Adjusts to poorly thrown balls in any direction.  Superior height and excellent vertical for his size make him a jump-ball target.

Route Running:  Runs short, inntermediate, and deep routes effectively.  Constantly threatens the deep seam, as teams often had to use a cornerback to cover him.  Uses his big body to sheild defenders over the middle and especially in the red zone.

After the catch:  Runs like a large wide receiver but is as strong as an ox after the catch. Makes defenders miss with a quick stop move and is stong enough to push oncoming tacklers by.  Not in the Tony Gonzalez mold for fluidity but comes fairly close.

Blocking:  Effective, if not dominating, blocker in-line and on the edge when lined in the slot or in motion.  Could be more consistent using his hands and feet to sustain.  Must learn to pick up corner blitzes.

Intangibles:  Team player who blocks with the same vigor he shows after the catch.  Arrest for failing to appear to settle a speeding ticket in April 2009 should not have a significant impact on his draft stock.

In Our View:  Gresham missed the 2009 season following September surgery on his right knee.  If he checks out medically and proves he is back to full strength, Gresham remains the clearl No. 1 tight end in this draft.  before the injury, he displayed the height, strength and speed to be a mismatch for linebackers and safeties.

#1 Tight End on their board.

The Sporting News Draft 2010

Hands:  Consistently reachs out and plucks the ball away from his body.  Catches passes thrown behind him with ease and wins a lot of jump balls.  Has a bad habit of using his body to catch easy passes.  He doesn’t drop many throws, but too often fights the ball instead of focusing on making defenders miss. GRADE: 8.0

Patterns:  Gresham is smooth in routes but not sharp in and out of cuts.  He lacks explosiveness due to his upright running style, which will hinder his ability to consistently get separation against NFL defenders.  Whether aligned in a three-point stance or standing, he doesn’t explode off the snap and into routes.  Once moving, he accelerates to full speed quickly and gets separation on downfield routes.  GRADE: 7.5

Run after catch:  Turns downfield quickly after the catch and shows the speed to outrun defenders.  an upright runner who does not lower his shoulders to deliver blows to defenders.  When Gresham is aggressive, he shows the size, strength, balance, and agility to to run through contact, but he’s inconsistent in this area.  Is remarkably effective at hurdling bodies.  GRADE: 7.5

Release:  Is solid but has room to improve.  Has the size, strength and long arms to fight through jams, but must be more aggressive.  Shows the quickness and agility to avoid jams instead of working through them.  Needs a few steps to get going after the snap.  GRADE:  6.5

Blocking:  Has the size and strength to be a good positional run blocker when maintaining good balance.  Plays hard until the whistle.  Is effective sealing defensive ends inside from an outside alignment on side blocks, even from the slot.  Struggles to block hea-up defensive ends.  Reaches second level easily to block linebackers in the open field but is only effective when maintaining good balance and not reaching to make the block.  GRADE:  6.0

Bottom Line:  the status of Gresham’s right knee is the biggest concern after his surgery last September.  Knee injuries like his typically need five months to recover, and he is hopeful about participating in pre-draft workouts.  In hindsight, he should have entered the draft in 2009, when he would have been a first-round pick.  If he struggles in spring workouts, his stock will slide, but Gresham has the size, strength, athleticism, hands, and speed to be a big-time playmaker in the NFL.  He can also be a solid blocker.  The only concern is his upright running style.

#3 Tight End on their board.

Also heard:  NFL Draft Analyst Mike Mayock commented that Gresham performed well at the combine, then helped his cause even more at Sam Bradford’s pro day workout, where he ran the entire route tree and caught everything thrown his way.

Gresham is a tight end prospect that can become the safety valve and mismatch the offense sorely needs.  Carson Palmer will love having this guy.  In addition, Gresham will not be a liability in the running game.  The team hasn’t had a tight end who can adequately block as well as catch in years.  Looks like they finally have one.

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