Prospecting for Gold: Brian Quick, WR

Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick participates in a catch and run drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

I am trying to keep a good balance going with my "Prospecting..." series but I fear I may be looking too much at offense, but there is still a month before the draft so I've got time to catch up. Plus, as wide receiver is still a position that should be addressed come draft weekend in April, I feel it's never overkill to feature a guy who would look good in navy and orange catching TDs from Jay Cutler. How about a big-bodied, 6'4" WR who is physical and can come down with the ball in traffic and isn't afraid to go over the middle?

Brian Quick, out of Appalachian State is a small-school prospect who you may have heard of, unlike a lot of FCS guys. Even though is more heralded and well-known, it's still tough to find good info on him. For example three of the sites I used to write this listed different heights for him (everywhere between 6'3" to 6'5"). At the NFL Combine he measured in at 6'4" so that's the figure I am going to stick with. Everyone has him at 220 pounds.

Anyway, he broke onto the scene as a true freshman at Appalachian State when in his FIRST college game ever he blocked Michigan's FG to set up ASU's winning TD in one of the biggest upsets in college football regular season history.

His biggest attribute: he can catch. From Draft Breakdown:

As a catcher of the ball, Quick is as good as anyone in college football. With big, soft hands, he naturally catches the ball away from his body, tracking it well in the air, then attacking it and bringing it in. His size and long arms provide him with a huge catching radius, in which he routinely snags balls outside his frame and adjusts well to poorly thrown passes, especially scooping low throws off the turf. In addition, he exhibits premier body control, both in traffic and when making plays along the sideline while dragging a foot inbounds. Maybe most impressively, he shows rare leaping ability and polished ball skills, making use of his basketball background to shield defenders with his body and out-jump them to snatch the ball at its highest point, making him a dangerous red zone threat at the next level.

His biggest questions involve the usual small-school stuff like the level of competition he played, but there are some other concerns. From Draftace:

Lacks breakaway speed; probably won’t be able to stretch the field at the next level. Ball security could become an issue; often runs with the ball away from his body. Level of competition is a concern; hasn’t faced many cornerbacks that could match his skill level. Route running is inconsistent and effort doesn’t always appear to be there; wasn’t really forced to fight to get open very often at the FCS level. Suffered season-ending back injury in 2007.

So he lacks breakaway speed, and despite what Draftace wrote, a few other reports mentioned his route-running as a strength. He is a pretty good idea of his potential from National Football Post:

Now, he's still not the most explosive of straight-line targets and vertically he's never going to be a guy who is going to separate a ton. He builds speed as he goes, but plays like a high 4.5 guy and doesn't have the burst to simply run away from defenders. Even on the post or corner route he is always a guy who is going to have to box out defenders and go pluck the football. However, that certainly is one of his strengths.

Impression: Exhibits natural athleticism, coordination and some burst as a route runner. Has some upside to his game, but reminds me some of a Ramses Barden type prospect. A big guy who can adjust, but is never going to separate much out of his breaks in the NFL.

I remember when Barden was coming out of Cal Poly, a lot of WCGers wanted the Bears to look at him, but he's all but disappeared on the Giants' roster with their strong receiving corps. Quick's 40 time at the Combine was 4.55 officially. I couldn't track down his pro-day numbers but that's not slow but again, not speedy either.

Overall, I'd be fine with this guy at number 50 in round two. The Bears could bring him along at a slightly slower pace with Brandon Marshall around and he could still contribute as a redzone threat right away. Imagine the Bears in the 10-15 yard area of the redzone with 6'7" Kellen Davis and 6'4" WRs Quick and Marshall? Hard to argue with that trio, right?

Draft Breakdown's link above includes two game highlight videos for Quick, in case you want to see one of those.

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