His feel for space on the field and overall ability to understand defenses boost his productivity immensely, because even though he displays premier athletic ability, he certainly doesn't make many plays due to his size. He will have to work out of the slot at the next level, but has shown the ability throughout college to do so.
Before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Texas A&M in November, Broyles was a second-round talent. If he is unable to test for teams before the draft due to that injury, his stock might drop.
Although he can make catches across the middle, he is most effective in space or when being covered man-to-man, as he displays an uncanny ability to get open. Broyles is an incredible catcher. He can torque his body in any way necessary to secure balls thrown near him. He uses his body control to turn and secure the ball.
Despite his small frame, he can turn and run through arm tackles at times. He is a great option as a short receiver, which allows him to utilize his quickness and agility to separate from defenders and secure a catch. Broyles has produced consistently in the Big 12, his transitional phase should be short, especially if he plays in the slot.
Weaknesses: Broyles is undersized and has struggled securing catches in space throughout his career. If cornerbacks get their hands on him at the line, he can struggle to break away and get into his route. It will be interesting to watch him work within an NFL system given the route tree he was running at Oklahoma which was somewhat basic.
The torn ACL that cost him the ,end of the 2011 season may limit his already average straight-line speed and raise concerns about his durability."
Since then, however, he's been the most prolific receiver in the school's long history. Broyles set freshman record for receiving yards (687) and tied for the most receptions (46), in addition to scoring 10 touchdowns and averaging nearly 10 yards per punt return (24-238, with one TD). He earned multiple All-Big 12 accolades after his sophomore year as a receiver (89-1,120-15) and punt returner (31-492-1), including a Sun Bowl MVP performance at the end of the year (13-156-3) -- despite suffering a slight fracture of his left shoulder blade during the year.
His 2010 season further solidified his place as a legitimate top 50 prospects (131-1,622 yards-14, 34-368 on punt returns). The Walter Camp All-American and first-team All-Big 12 selection lacks great height, girth, and straight-line speed for his size. But his ability to make plays down the sideline, over the middle, in the slot, and as a returner should allow him to have a long NFL career.
Release: Shows quickness off the snap to shake off corners, but will struggle to get off the jam at the next level because of his size. Often used in the slot to give him space to get around nickel corners. Separates with hesitation moves and nice acceleration.
Hands: Hands and toughness are among his greatest strengths. Extends arms to snatch throws outside his frame whether on the run or even when looking straight-on. Tracks the ball well over either shoulder. Gets down for low throws, gets up to grab high passes -- especially in the end zone. Hangs on after taking a hit. Good sideline awareness, keeps feet in-bounds.
Route Running: Typical NFL slot receiver. Works the middle of the field effectively on short and intermediate crossing routes. Quick feet to cut outside or inside to create room. Effective on jerk routes to free himself from linebackers. Lulls corners and safeties to sleep with short routes, but can explode past them down the sideline or seam. Used on a lot of short routes and screens (pushing up his reception numbers) to take advantage of his acceleration after the catch.
After the Catch: An elusive runner with shifty hips and toughness, also owns an exceptional burst out of his cut that gets him separation. Has long arms to stiff-arm defensive backs in the open field. Willing to lower his pads to run through tackles for extra yardage. Goes over the middle, can spin out of tackles and take the big hit. Return skills come from that quick burst and his ability to wiggle through creases in full speed; though he will dance more often than you'd like. Does not own exceptional long-term speed, can get caught from behind.
Blocking: Not much of a threat to dominate NFL corners with his lack of size, but does give effort to get an angle on his man. Uses his arm length to keep distance between him and defender. Should improve with coaching and added strength.
Intangibles: Arrested his freshman year for using a stolen key to steal gasoline from a closed station, but has been a solid citizen ever since. Missed just one game in 2009 with a slight fracture of his left shoulder blade. Typically not a vocal leader, but did step up at times in 2010 when his team needed it."
Exhibits “plus” body control and awareness along the sideline catching the football off his frame and getting his feet in bounds. Doesn’t have the kind of physicality to routinely beat press coverage off the line and will struggle to fend off defenders who get into his frame both off the line and down the field. Doesn’t absorb/fight through contact well and can be slowed through contact. Displays good speed, not elite, but plays fast on vertically breaking routes.
Is subtle/explosive when using a shimmy to get behind defenders and accelerates quickly down the field. However, needs to set up defenders in order to get behind them, doesn’t have the kind of elite second gear to simply outpace NFL corners.
Looks natural working the double move, sells it well, maintains balance and quickly gets back up to speed. Possesses good body control on inward breaking routes as well, gets a bit choppy at times getting out of his breaks, but is concise as a route runner, works his angles back toward the quarterback and use his body in order to shield.
Showcases good short area quickness out of his breaks, gets a bit sloppy with his angles on outward breaking routes, but is fluid in the hips and generates a burst away from defenders in tight areas. Can create after the catch. Isn’t as dynamic in the open field as many believe. But takes what the defense gives him, has the wiggle to make a man miss and accelerates quickly.
Impression: Isn’t a legit number one type wide out and isn’t a guy who I would even play on the outside in the NFL. However, has the polish and quickness needed to separate underneath and should be a solid contributor early inside for an NFL offense."
Weaknesses: Broyles won’t blow by anyone with his speed. He’s small in stature and struggles to beat the jam at the line of scrimmage. Tore his ACL late in the season and isn’t likely to be ready for the start of camp. Doesn’t track the ball well vertically for someone as seasoned as he is. Low potential…what you see is what you get.
Bottom Line: Ryan Broyles is one of the most productive receivers in college football history. The combination of his injury and low ceiling should relegate him to a mid round pick. If he lasts into the fourth round, someone will be getting a good value that could contribute immediately in the slot.
Draft Projection: 4."
Has the hands, toughness, quickness and run-after-catch ability to thrive in the slot – uncovers short-to-intermediate, catches naturally with his hands and transitions smoothly from receiver to runner, showing acceleration, vision and shiftiness, though he does not project as an impact return man.
Great concentration and body control to adjust in traffic – attacks the ball in the air and sacrifices his body.
Struggles some to beat the jam, is physically underpowered as a blocker and lacks run strength after the catch to break tackles.
Must prove he can stay healthy."
Bold Statement: Broyles will be the best pure slot wide receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Games Viewed: Connecticut ('10), Nebraska ('10), Baylor ('10), Missouri ('10), Texas ('10), Florida State ('10), Stanford ('09), Nebraska ('09), Texas ('09).
• The big, obvious negative that holds Broyles down is his size. He can have trouble getting open over the top, isn't a jump ball target and won't break many tackles.
• Possesses exceptional hands and routinely catches the ball outside his frame.
• Struggles beating the jam at the line of scrimmage.
• Broyles is at his best playing out of the slot when he can work over the middle, underneath.
• Has a lot of toughness for a player of his size. Doesn't mind getting hit when working the middle.
• There won't be a lot better receivers in the 2012 class better at taking apart zone coverage. Has good vision to find a hole in the defense and putting himself in a position to be open.
• Plays faster than he'll time in the 40-yard dash. Relies more on a good short-area burst and agility to get open.
• Is a good punt return man because of his elusiveness in the open field. Has some wiggle to his game.
• Shouldn't be expected to be a team's No. 1 receiver. Compares favorably to Mario Manningham of the New York Giants.
• Has some injury history (broken collarbone in 2009) and character issues (arrested for stealing gas as a freshman)."
Coming off an incredible season in which he caught 131 passes for over 1,600 yards and 14 scores; also a decent, though, not great punt returner who averaged 8 yards per return last fall;
Not all that big or fast, but is very quick, has great hands and runs precise routes; has bulked up to almost 200 pounds and has good weight-room strength, but is still not all that physical and can be jammed at the line of scrimmage so best fit at next level may be a slot receiver;
Has 4.50 speed and is a dangerous runner after the catch, but is not a true deep threat; missed two games in 2009 with a shoulder injury; was arrested early in his career for stealing gasoline."
Willing to make the tough catch over the middle... Most effective when working from the slot, makes a lot of catches within 1-10 yards from the line of scrimmage... Good at finding the soft spot in zone coverage... Very shifty in the open field, displays a short area burst and good vision... hard to tackle after he makes the catch, elusive...
Crazy production, posted 131 catches for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns this year... Set seven Oklahoma receiving records in 2010... Great punt returner, active career leader from BCS schools in punt return yards... Still improving, was recruited to Oklahoma as a cornerback and redshirted his freshman year to learn wide receiver.
Negatives: A bit undersized, might struggle to get off the line of scrimmage in the NFL... Has a tendency to be bumped off his routes... Appears to be more quick than fast... Suffered a collar bone injury in 2009...
Minor character concerns, was arrested his freshman year for stealing gasoline... Oklahoma's pass heavy offense inflated his stats a bit... Limited upside because of his size, will be a better number two option in the NFL than number one... Not a run blocker, seems to give up on his blocks too early."
Given his small size, his straight-line speed is average. He can create mismatches against linebackers and safeties, but lacks the high-end speed to stretch the field. There have also been some injury concerns due to his sleek frame.
Broyles was arrested in 2007 for attempted larceny because he attempted to steal gas. Rumors are that he has matured a lot since the incident."
Like Clayton, Broyles has reliable hands, the ability to run sharp routes and the instincts to make things happen after the catch. Oklahoma has had a pair of Heisman Trophy winners under Stoops—quarterbacks Bradford and Jason White—but no wide out had ever caught as many passes as Broyles did as a sophomore. He also tied the program’s record for receiving touchdowns in a single season (12).
The Norman native is a demon in the open-field with the elusiveness and vision to make defenders look downright silly, whether it be on a screen or slant pass, as a runner (83 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in 2009), or a return specialist.
He only lacks size; at just 5’11 and 178 pounds Broyles isn’t going to out-physical many defenders and some may question his durability at the next level. Nevertheless, the record-setting wide out is fearless when it comes to going across the middle and with a bench press of 310 pounds he tops all Sooner receivers when under the bar.
He lacks the upside of the top four junior wide outs—A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Michael Floyd and Jonathan Baldwin—who all check in at 6’3” or taller, but by no means does that imply that Broyles won’t have a successful NFL career. The Sooner may not crack the first round when he declares for the NFL Draft, but should be a solid second-round selection who can make plays from the slot or split out wide."