Tight end Harrison Bryant is not a household name in the college football world, and many outside the scouting community are not familiar with the Florida Atlantic senior. However, NFL scouts think highly of Bryant, who faces another tough test this weekend after his successful outing against Ohio State.
Breaking into the starting lineup as a junior last season, Bryant was awarded All-Conference USA honors after finishing the year with 45 receptions, 662 receiving yards and 4 TDs. He is a natural pass catcher and in many ways plays the tight end position like a large, possession receiver.
Bryant is the perfect fit for Lane Kiffin’s offense as he often lines up in the slot or gets sent in motion before the snap of the ball. He has next-level size, measuring in at 6-feet-4.5 inches and 245 pounds. He plays smart, tough, athletic football, showing the speed to split the seam and get downfield. At the same time, Bryant gives his all when asked to block.
How highly is Bryant regarded in the scouting community?
Entering the season, he was graded as the second-best senior prospect at the tight end position behind Jared Pinkney of Vanderbilt. Presently, Bryant is viewed as a middle-round prospect for next April’s draft. Bryant has proven to be up to the task in the early going as he netted 6 receptions for 79 yards during the first game of the season against the mighty Ohio State Buckeyes.
Week two will be another tough test for Bryant as he faces off against Central Florida and their pair of highly-rated safeties.
Richie Grant, the Knights’ junior safety, is well regarded in the scouting community. I stamped Grant as a third-round prospect off last year’s film during the Central Florida preview. He is explosive, hard-hitting, and displays excellent range to the sidelines. Grant lacks ideal size but makes up for it with the suddenness and play-making ability.
Antwan Collier, another junior, is Grant’s counterpart in the secondary. Though not as athletic or explosive compared to his teammate, Collier comes with better size and packs a wallop at the point.
Another strong performance this weekend against another good defense will only enhance Bryant’s value in the eyes of NFL scouts. If healthy, I fully expect to see the tight end at the Senior Bowl representing both Florida Atlantic and Conference USA in January.
Tony Pauline is the lead NFL Draft analyst for PFN. You can follow him on twitter @TonyPauline.