The Chicago Bears may have plucked the steal of the 2016 NFL draft in the 7th round when they took wide out Daniel Braverman of Western Michigan. Pro Football Focus had him with a 2nd round grade based on his prowess from the slot.
And the slot is where Braverman will get most of his work in the NFL. At 5'10" and 177 pounds, with speed, quickness and hands, he looks the part of a slot receiver. He was 2nd in the nation last year with 109 receptions, he added 1,367 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He didn't receive an invite to the NFL Combine, but here are his Pro Day numbers;
40-yard dash: 4.47 seconds
Vertical: 28 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 4 inches
Short shuttle: 4.2 seconds
3-cone: 6.86 seconds
Bench: 10 reps of 225 pounds
Last season's #1 slot option for the Bears, Eddie Royal, suffered through a few injury issues, so Braverman could give the Bears a good insurance policy.
Here's the full transcript from Braverman's press conference
On carrying over his college production to the NFL;
"One thing I know and I can remember from the past three years after my ACL was a lot of hard work and time and sacrifice I put into trying to be the best Daniel Braverman I can be. Obviously the Bears believe in me by picking me and they feel I can bring something - anything - to this team to be able to help them."
Pro Tip: Always bet on a kid that speaks of himself in the 3rd person.
On thinking he would not get drafted;
"It's great being picked. Obviously not a lot of people get to say they got drafted so this is a very special moment. Especially for my family, especially to this kind of organization, the Chicago Bears. Such a historic team. What changed? I don't know. Maybe someone just really believing what they see on tape and just saying ‘Hey, maybe this guy can help our football team with a couple plays here and there'. Sometimes that all it takes."
On if he watches tape of Wes Welker and Julian Edelman and can play the game like they do;
"Those are great players but I'm not really worried about them. I'm trying to be the best Daniel Braverman I can be, to be able to help the Chicago Bears any way possible. If that's inside, then I'll play inside. If it's outside, then I'll play outside."
Third Person Counter: 2
On what his strengths are;
"I think I have quick reaction skills and I'm very shifty within the route and with the ball in my hands and hopefully that will translate to the NFL game. Being from south Florida you kind of get used to playing in big games. Michigan State and Ohio State was just another way to be able to prove myself. Go out every game with a chip on my shoulder to prove that I belong and that I'm one of the best players on the field so I just take that with me."
On his ACL injury;
"I think it was 2013 and I just tried to make a cut-back move in spring practice and I just heard a pop and that was it."
On his punt return experience;
"I've been punt returning ever since little league and kick returning ever since little league. I've been scoring touchdowns on special teams my whole life and I just take pride in being a football player. Whatever I'm asked to do, I'll do it to the best of my ability and I believe I'm a playmaker. If the Chicago Bears need me to do a couple punt returns then I'm here to do it."
On not being invited to the combine;
"Yes, I was not."
On his reaction when he found out he wasn't invited to the combine;
"Obviously frustrated because I felt with 108 catches, 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns, I felt I was left out. I felt like I belonged with all those receivers. You can't worry about what you can't control so I just had to move on and try to execute my pro day."
On what he did during the combine;
"I was training. I was training this morning. It's just what I do."
What do you guys think about Braverman's responses?