Should the Chicago Bears draft Harrison Bryant, tight end from Florida Atlantic?
Despite signing Jimmy Graham, the Chicago Bears may still be in the market to draft a tight end. This is a team that relies on tight end, and between the age of Graham and the injury history of Burton, if the right tight end fell to them, they would not pass. The question becomes, is Harrison Bryant the right tight end?
Bryant played for Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic and was a key mismatch weapon in his offense. He grew from 413 yards in 2017 to 1,004 in 2019, catching 16 total touchdowns in his college career.
What is the draft range that Bryant should be expected to go, and should the Chicago Bears be interested?
One of the questions that are going to drop Bryant is the measurables. He has the height to play tight end in the NFL. The question is whether he is big enough with his weight and length. Beyond that, he has speed but is not the most explosive tight end. He looked good at the Senior Bowl, but did he just feast on the lower level competition?
The strengths of Bryant are clear. He is a good receiver in the slot. His size can show over the seam and in the red zone. However, where he is used best is in the short to intermediate with the ball in his hands. He caught 27 passes less than 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and ranked fourth in receiving grade in that area according to PFF. Kiffin did a good job getting the ball in his hands, but Bryant took it from there and was elusive and strong with the ball in his hands. PFF has him ranked second in broken tackles.
With all of the strengths being as a receiver, the weaknesses start as a blocker. He is willing, but you saw the measurables. He lacks sand in his pants, and the arm length issue does show up. He hardly lined up in-line and was more of a matchup piece in the offense.
Bryant has a good contested catch rate but also has a drop issue. He had eight drops, most of which were concentration drops. There also has to be a question of whether the athleticism will translate due to being in an offense friendly to him.
NFL Comparison for Harrison Bryant
When looking at the size and athletic traits of Harrison Bryant, there are about 21 recent examples from the combine. This list is led by Zach Ertz and Julius Thomas.
Below, you can see how he compares physically. The biggest point of note is his arm length. Ertz has shorter arms, and his arms are longer, although not by much.
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Maxx Williams and Ricky Seals-Jones are lower-end projections. Seals-Jones is a receiver who turned tight end and brings next to nothing as a blocker. That is how Bryant should be looked at.
Fit With Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have a long list of tight ends, but nobody they can quite trust yet. If they saw Bryant as a coveted pass catcher, would they add to the room once again?
Based on mock drafts, Bryant is going around pick 119. He goes as high as 62 in mocks but as low as 195.
Picking him in the second round would be a reach, especially with addressing Graham. Still, if he fell to 140, or 163, which is possible, would he be a target?
With that draft range, he could be a situational pass catcher. They could stretch the seam with him every once and a while and find red zone packages as well. If Trey Burton and Jimmy Graham give strong seasons, that is great, but Demetrius Harris is who he is, and that is not much as a pass-catcher. Bryant would be tight end four, but could step in for Burton or Graham as depth if needed.
If Bryant were taken at pick 163, he could be a nice depth addition and role player, with potential upside to be more.