NAME: Kelly Bryant
JERSEY: No. 2
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 220 lbs
Stepping in to replace Tigers legend Deshaun Watson is no easy task, but Bryant performed admirably in his first season as a starter where he completed 65.8 percent of his passes while generating nearly 3,500 yards of offense (rushing and passing) with 24 total touchdowns. Clemson boasted a 12-2 record and won the ACC Championship Game before falling to Alabama in the College Football Playoffs.
Not a one-read passer, Bryant demonstrates the ability to work his progressions and deliver throws with anticipation. He showcases a willingness to test man coverage and give his targets a chance to make plays on the ball where they have leverage. He excels as a rhythm passer when operating quick game. He will also hang tough in the pocket, allowing routes to develop and deliver strikes under duress. Rounding out his strengths as a player is how effective he is as a runner. His skill set demands designed runs.
While Bryant has general accuracy as a passer, his ball placement becomes more erratic the further down the field the throw is. His throwing motion is elongated and he isn’t as effective throwing on the run as expected given his physical traits. Bryant is guilty of not recognizing coverage rotations and his field vision is modest. And when defenses key in on taking his ability to win as a runner and force him to win from the pocket, his ability to move the offense steeply declines.
Bryant should take considerable strides in year two as a starter but has the makeup of a developmental prospects as opposed to a coveted high pick.