Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Breaking Down the Chicago Bears Seventh Round Pick: Western Michigan Wide Receiver - Daniel Braverman

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and it appears that the Bears have a plan in place. Did I agree with that plan at every twist and turn? No, not really, but I also really enjoyed some of their moves so it all balances out. And they were active, and that definitely made for an exciting weekend. But what's done is done. The picks I like will obviously work out, and hopefully my genius fails me on the picks that I didn't like. So far, I have had the chance to break down:

First Round Pick: Leonard Floyd, Linebacker, Georgia
Second Round Pick: Cody Whitehair, Offensive Guard, Kansas State
Third Round Pick: Jonathan Bullard, Defensive Lineman, Florida
Fourth Round Pick: Nick Kwiatkoski, Linebacker, West Virginia
Fourth Round Pick: Deon Bush, Safety, Miami
Fourth Round Pick: Deiondre' Hall, Defensive Back, Northern Iowa
Fifth Round Pick: Jordan Howard, Running Back, Indiana
Sixth Round Pick: DeAndre Houston-Carson, Free Safety, William and Mary

Finally, we wrap up this series with the Bears seventh round and final pick, Daniel Braverman, a wide receiver out of Western Michigan.Unlikesome of the Bears picks, I knew a surprising amount about Braverman going into the draft thanks to the "Move the Sticks" Podcast. The scouting report on him is that he's got the potential to be an ideal slot receiver, as the guy finds ways to get open despite not being the most physically gifted player. I watched his games against Michigan State and Ohio State, two very talented defenses that should be able to swallow up small school players like Braverman.

Braverman is definitely shifty, as he is always moving to try to get open, and he's got a good ability to cut, as shown on this play against Michigan State.

There ain't a linebacker out there that's going to stick with him on that outside cut.

Here, Braverman does a great job of selling the quick screen before exploding down the field to get wide open for an easy touchdown.
The only problem is he didn't make the catch. I don't think it's a big deal. Even the best receivers have drops. Focus on the moves, because that's consistently great. The drops will not be an issue.

If you're not totally sold on that, it helps that he has proven that he can go deep and make a play against top-level competition, as he finds a way to torch far better athletes from Ohio State on this play.
He shortens his stride early in his route, and the cornerback sits down on it, and then Braverman is able to accelerate right past him, avoid the safety (who takes a bad angle), and cruise in for six. And if you think that was a fluke, he had another play just like it later in the game that was called back for holding.

I do have to give Michigan State credit as they ate Braverman's lunch during most of the first half of this game. But that doesn't mean Braverman wasn't able to show off on some impressive plays. Here, he takes a quick screen (a play that got absolutely dominated early in this game), and makes some nifty moves to get a first down.
It's those sorts of cuts that not only help him get yards after the catch but helped him in previous clips to find ways to get open despite not being the best athlete on the field.

Braverman has moves on moves on moves on moves, as he showed on this play against Ohio State.

The guy has such an impressive ability to cut that he almost always maximizes his yardage while being very tough to get a clean hit on. On this play he shows that if you don't swarm to tackle him, he has the ability to make you pay.

If you're looking for impressive catches, this should do the trick.

Obviously, the catch is incredible in that he makes the catch and manages to dot his foot on the ground in bounds. But nearly as impressive is the way that he stays open enough for the quarterback to throw the ball. He gets open earlier in his route, but he manages to stay enough in a zone to let his quarterback go for that pass, and he does what's necessary to come down with the ball.

When the Bears made Daniel Braverman their final pick, I loved it. After actually getting the time to watch him on film, he lived up to the hype, and I think the Bears got a steal late in the draft. Since I'm pretty sure everyone is already thinking it, no, he's not the next Wes Welker. He's probably more of a Cole Beasley. He's not a game changer, but he can be a solid contributor from the slot. He finds ways to get open, and that is a skill that translates at any level. For a seventh round pick, Bears fans should be ecstatic with Braverman. I know I am.

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