Brandon Kaufman Scouting Report

March 27th, 2013
Brandon Kaufman

(Photo: US Presswire)

Prospect: Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington
Height: 6’5
Weight: 216 lbs
Grade: 5.65 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

Athleticism/Expolsiveness

+  Tall, filled out frame with long arms
+  Nice lean build despite height
+/-  Very straight-linish runner, but his straight line speed is quite fast
-  Struggles to change directions without losing considerable speed
+  While speed is average, acceleration to reach his top speed is impressive
-  Lacks speed gears, no breakaway/”catch-up” speed
+  Surprisingly effect after the catch; he’s very shifty
-  Not a very quick receiver in general or after the catch
+  Good leaping ability to go along with his height

 

Catching Ability
-  Makes way too many unnecessary body catches
+  Has natural hand-eye coordination to make catches with hands away from the body
-  Strays away from using hands when he doesn’t need to
-  Waits the ball in with his body on comeback routes
-  Doesn’t attack the ball at its highpoint like you’d expect a receiver to of his size
-  Body control is inconsistent, rarely gets the advantage his height should allow him in jump ball situations

 

Discipline/Guts

+  Not afraid to put his body at risk by laying out for passes/going up for contested balls
-  At times has shied away from hits by making a catch tougher than it needs to be
+  Has shown the awareness to retreat for his quarterback when he’s scrambling
-  Doesn’t directly go to the ball when there’s time to, risks more contested passes
+  Very tough runner with the ball in his hands, churns legs like a power-back
+  Always aware to keep the ball tightly secured, especially when taking hits

 

Route Running

-  Obviously limited in routes (rarely runs anything but strictly vertical) he can run because of his speed solely being straight-linish
+/-  Has surprisingly quick feet that can allow for extra separation vertically, but not as effective laterally
+  His initial speed off the line avoids constant press, gets corners on their backpedals early
+  Perfectly physical through his routes: keeps defenders at bay with his frame, but rarely wastes time being overly-physical
-  Very little explosion out of his bigger cuts
-  Wastes movement a bit in his cuts when asked to run more complicated routes
+  Has enough speed to  gain initial separation from defenders when they press
+  Makes up for limited route tree by sitting down in soft spots in zone coverages

Blocking

+  Picks the right defenders to target downfield
-  Effort is lacking at times
-  More of a “pusher” when blocking, won’t get any impressive momentum and/or lock on

 

Overview:

Brandon Kaufman is a player I was eager to take a hard look at due to his rising hype late in this draft season.  His size and substantial deep speed have left multiple watchers satisfied and willing to make him a late round priority for their teams.  However, I can’t say that I was overly impressed when evaluating him.

Kaufman was significantly touted out of high school, but tore his ACL in his senior season.  Only Eastern Washington chose not to drop his scholarship due to his injury.  Kaufman was a steady producer against the weak competition in the Big Sky conference, leaving some skeptical.  The tall receiver earned most of his yards going deep and making it look easy with his size, but he is far too limited within his route tree and due to his highly inconsistent catching ability to be considered as anything more than a 5th-7th round depth pick.  What is most worrisome with Kaufman is that he isn’t exactly a raw prospect, as he has been playing football for too long to be considered one.  This makes him a poor man’s Tommy Streeter (2012 prospect) in my mind, which isn’t saying a whole lot.  At the Combine, Kaufman looked particularly slow out of the pack of receivers in the gauntlet drill, when he was forced to overcome his weaknesses in maintaining speed while changing directions.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

In the end, there is a lot to like about the productive Kaufman come the late rounds, when teams are either looking for through-the-roof upside, or a role-player who can produce sooner rather than later.  Kaufman is realistically the latter of the two.  After my analysis of him, I feel confident in my debunking of any further rising from Kaufman.  Yet, Kaufman can surely make a roster, and can even contribute a bit as a rookie because of his ability as a deep threat alone.

Scouting Notes

Vs Wagner:

-Body catch risks a drop on a deep ball, yet he bobbles and makes catch
-Comes back to the ball to help his QB scrambling
-Body catch on an out route risks DB undertaking route
-Makes catch with hands in triple coverage

Vs Idaho:

-QB throws a duck, but he doesn’t attack the ball at its highest point
+/-Good body control going up for an underthrown ball, but catches solely with the body
-Gets in good position for the diving catch near the back pylon, but holds hands too far apart
+/-Finds a nice soft spot vs zone coverage, yet noticeably takes eyes off the ball early to look for yards after catch
-Highly contested ball, but never sets feet to time his jump
+/-Nice snatch with hands as he plucks it, but did so to avoid taking a hit from contesting defender over the middle
+Scraps with opposing DB, but backs off smartly when attention is called to them

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Brandon Kaufman, scouting report

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