Being Linemen, they are indeed required to line up on the Line of Scrimmage before the Snap, unlike the others.
As this places them nose to nose with the opposing CornerBack ~ whereas the SlotBacks & Flankers are allowed to align a couple steps back, thus affording them more room to maneuver ~ they need to be beefier.
*Please do note, though: Schematically, the Split End is whoever lines up as the Split End...But for the purposes of these Scouting Reports, I am applying this NomenClature to those who are Split Ends by trade, so to speak: Those whose Skills Sets apply best to that particular Job Description. What their Coaches might do with them, once they're drafted, is another matter all together. Ditto, Flankers & SlotBacks. In any case, many play multiple Roles.
The most compelling Attributes of a Split End, in the 21st Century, are, in my view, and in no particular order:
Separation. Getting Open. This encompasses their ability to beat Press, their Acceleration out'f the Blocks, their Routing Precision, their Agility, their Ricochet, their capacity to outsmart Defenders, and their Instincts.
Catching. This encompasses Hands, Catch Radius, Vertical Agility, and Timing.
Navigation. How well he Navigates the Field in Pursuit of Yards After Catch: Power, Agility, and Field Vision.
Blocking. Having a WideOut who doesn't Block effectively is like having 10 Men on the Field of Battle.
Catching ~ Raw but rapidly improving and with tremendous Potential. Bryant's Hands were horrible even as recently as September, but they improved dramatically over the Season's course, his first as a Starter. His Combat Skills and his Timing are still unrefined, but the Power, Vertical Agility and Frame are there for potential Greatness.
Navigation ~ Good with Potential for Excellence. Bryant's combination of Power and Acceleration could become deadly, once he develops better Open Field Instincts. And he's already an exceptional Ball Carrier with decent Agility.
Blocking ~ Raw and unrefined, but with the Power and enough Fluidity to become a Force if he applies himself.
Indeed, when I set out to break down Young Martavis, my early impression was precisely all the above.
I imagined myself simply cutting and pasting my Donte Moncrief Scouting Report and having done with it.
I even got as far as speculating about what phrases I'd change around to make it appear I'd done some actual Scouting.
Yes, I'm kidding.
But as I delved deeper, I was pleasantly surprised.
It's true that Martavis Bryant's greatest Strengths are unquestionably his Size/Speed combo ~ he is a genuinely explosive Vertical Threat ~ that his Route Running is raw, to put it kindly, and that his Hands have been flat out horrible.
But his Trajectory is quite another matter.
Bryant improved by leaps and bounds over the course of 2013, the first Year he broke into the starting lineup.
His Drops were legion in September, but his Hands improved dramatically over the course of the Season.
His Route Running is still raw, but that, too, improved over the course of the Year.
Martavis Bryant matured dramatically after getting suspended for a Bowl Game at the end of the 2012 Campaign.
This dramatic change in Attitude and demeanor was testified to by none other than Head Coach Dabo Swinney ~ the very man who suspended him ~ on All Fool's Day, 2013...6 months before any tangible results could be seen on the Field of Battle...and Coach Swinney's words proved prophetic, indeed: 2013 was Martavis Bryant's BreakOut Year.
It's a great article, and I make no bones about saying this: One of the most crucial Aspects of what I do here is discerning Truth from BullShit, and it was the language that Coach Swinney used in describing Martavis Bryant's metamorphosis following his Suspension that convinced me that Coach Swinney knew what he was talking about.
Martavis Bryant is raw, and his Record of Improvement and fledgling Success is wafer thin...But my Instincts are telling me ~ and don't doubt that they play an enormous part in what I write, hereabouts, Fellow FootBall Fanatics!! ~ that he has genuinely Seen The Light, and that the Martavis Bryant we saw emerge in 2013 is only the tip of the IceBerg.
And my God, the kid is talented.
Thanks, as always, to the extraordinary Work by the men of Draft BreakDown!!
Consensus Market Value