Position: Wide Receiver
School: Louisiana State University
Height: 6005 E
Weight: 200 E
40 Time: 4.45 E
Demetrius is a good athlete for an NFL receiver. He has good quickness off the line of scrimmage, shows good body control making catches, and does not lose balance in his routes. However, he doesn't use show any burst in his routes, and takes just a bit long to reach top speed.
Physical Talents: 6.0
Demetrius has good physical talents. He has good height at 6'0 ½, and while he could stand to add more weight (looks smaller than 200lbs, but also taller than 6'0 ½) to his frame, his frame will not prohibit him from a successful NFL career. He doesn't show strength catching, running, or blocking, but much of that is his game, which is very finesse. He lacks explosion in his routes, but shows some explosion on with the ball in his hands.
Body Type: 6.0
Byrd only started playing football his senior year of high school, then played two years of community college football. It shows. While he seems to be largely on the same page as his new quarterback, he does not run good routes and does not consistently follow the ball into his hands. He also, on the rare occasion he shows effort blocking, uses poor technique. He does show some natural awareness for the chains and as a blocker.
Understands Playbook: 6.0
Proper Technique: 5.0
Frustrating kid to grade for competitiveness. He shows absolutely no fear going over the middle, and caught some passes despite taking hard hits. Then you see him run a curl route without any plant-and-explode, or watch him barely get in the way of the cornerback while blocking, and you wonder what makes him tick. He did come back after getting knocked out of the game against Alabama, and has made some big-time TD catches. It is tough to weigh that against disinterest blocking and unreliable hands.
Clutch Play: 6.0
Football Character: 6.0
While his effort is inconsistent, he is willing to take a hit for a small
Personal Character: 6.0 Research showed nothing that makes me suspicious.
Durability: 6.0 Was dinged up a couple of times, but no serious injury in college.
Wideout Specific Skills:
Consistency Catching: 5.0 Body catches at times, doesn't always follow the ball into hands.
Initial Quicks: 5.5 Doesn't explode at all off of LOS.
Clean Release: 6.0 No false steps off of LOS. Gets into route efficiently.
Release vs Jam: 6.0 Uses hands well to avoid being jammed despite lanky frame.
Routes: 5.0 Does not run good routes at all. Probably a limited-route runner forever due to lack of explosion running routes.
Tough Catches: 6.0 Makes tough catches more often than you'd expect.
Run After Catch: 5.5 Shows little YAC, partially due to inability to generate separation.
Deep Speed: 6.5 Demetrius is a vertical threat who can outrun the coverage even against good college opponents.
Blocking: 5.0 Low effort blocker. Pester-type. When he does block with enthusiasm, very upright.
Errors: 5.5 Several drops over the four games scouted. Not a penalty threat.
Summary: If Demetrius were bigger and a little more competitive, he'd remind me a lot of Carolina Panther DJ Hackett coming out of Colorado. Hackett was a deep threat who learned who to turn that vertical ability into short-route separation. Unfortunately for Byrd, his lack of explosion in his routes hurts him, as does his disinterest in blocking and sketchy hands. Byrd has a place for an NFL team, but right now all he can do well is run deep. Byrd has enough athleticism to turn himself into an okay starter, but I feel the odds are simply stacked too high against him for him to reach his potential. I see no reason why he could not perform well as a gunner on STs, which may become vital to him earning a job in the NFL.
Final Grade: 5.7
Note: Due to the still ongoing nature of the college football season, it is entirely possible that I will watch more LSU games and I retain the right to change my grades up until draft day.
Games Graded: Tulane, Alabama, Florida, Auburn
Kyle Rota is better known as Rotak in NET Nation. Kyle also has his own blog that can be reached at: http://collegescout.wordpress.com/. If you would like to email Kyle you can do so by clicking here.