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NFL Draft: Scouting Report for Daniel Braverman

Questions remain as to Braverman's ability to handle the physicality of the NFL, but he has the skills to overcome

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of time has passed since Daniel Braverman declared for this weekend's NFL Draft, and in that time plenty has been made of what he isn't - tall, overpowering, strong - and perhaps many scouts will look back on the 2016 class and wish they had payed more attention to what he is - smart, elusive and downright dangerous with the football.

His draft profile differs only slightly from those of Antonio Brown and Julian Edelman, both MAC stars from years past who quickly found stardom in a league that saw them as lottery tickets. He's a small receiver perceived as lacking the strength to get off the line of scrimmage in the NFL with limited ability going over the middle, and will have a lot to prove before becoming the next Brown or Edelman. But does the Miramar, Florida native bring enough to the table to avoid becoming just another late round draft pick?

Fortunately for Braverman, Western Michigan's football schedule gave him not just one but two opportunities against top competition in 2015. Both games were played for a national audience, and the junior did not disappoint, catching 13 passes for 109 yards against Michigan State and a few weeks later hauling in 10 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown against then number one Ohio State. Braverman is speedy enough to beat coverage over the top and creative enough to carve them underneath. With the ball, he is nearly impossible to solo tackle even with his small frame, and a brief look at plays from those two games shows you why.

Week one against Michigan State was the first glimpse into what Braverman could accomplish against an established and vaunted defense. Of the 13 passes he hauled in on the Friday evening in Kalamazoo, three clearly stood out.

  • The play at 2:06 is vintage Braverman. The idea is to get him the ball in space and let him work his magic, which, not surprisingly, is exactly what happens. He catches a pass from Zach Terrell in the flats and it appears the defense has him dead to rights, only to speed past the first two defenders and nearly break a late arm tackle from a third for a first down and more.
  • At 3:23, Braverman finds a hole in the secondary over the middle for a big gain. This is something he would have been able to do more of if Terrell hadn't been chased by Shlique Calhoun on every drop back (you'll see Terrell sacked quite a few times). If Braverman is to succeed at the NFL level at this size, he'll surely have to negotiate his way into space effectively in the teeth of a defense.
  • 5:40 exhibits some improvisation on the part of number eight. He runs a deep route to the sideline and looks for the ball, but as Terrell is forced to his left comes back to space and makes a phenomenal grab on the sidelines. Of course, only one foot down won't cut it in the NFL, but  there's no chance for a catch if Braverman quits on the play.

Week four versus the Buckeyes was perhaps Braverman's best outing as a Bronco, and didn't feature the drops that plagued him in the loss to Michigan State. Ohio State struggled to contain him for most of the day, but then again not many teams could all season. In fact, Braverman's first sub 10-catch game didn't occur until the week following WMU's trip to The Horseshoe, a rivalry match up with Central Michigan.

  • 1:16 - The same elusiveness shown early in the game against Michigan State was on display early in Columbus in week four. Braverman catches a 12 yard out with space, turns inside and beats his primary defender. He then forces another man to miss and then another, and another and - well, you get the picture.
  • 1:28 - Braverman scored the first touchdown of the day for the Broncos using a sharp move to beat the corner one on one, catching a pass deep down the sideline. Not satisfied, he makes another Buckeye miss and tip toes his way into the end zone.
  • 2:29 - This play ended up being nullified by a penalty on the offense, but Braverman shows great focus in a bit of traffic to make a fantastic catch in the red zone.

Ultimately Braverman's lack of size is what will make him a later day pick in this year's NFL Draft, but the outlook is good for the 22 year old wide receiver if given the right opportunity with the right franchise. Time will tell how immediate his impact can be at the next level, but his quickness and football IQ mean despite the small frame, he should be able to find targets on Sundays.

Brief Profile for Daniel Braverman


Height: 5'10"
Weight: 177 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.47 seconds
Vertical: 28 1/2 inches
Bench: 10 reps at 225 pounds
Draft Projection: Round four or five

Strengths: Competes at a high level and has punt returning in his background

Weaknesses: Lack of height and limited catch radius