Brandon LaFell – LSU
Scout: David Syvertsen
Pro Potential: TJ Houshmanzadeh – Seattle Seahawks
Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Reaches top speed quickly, good accelerator in space. Runs low to the ground, making him more explosive in and out of cuts. Strong first two steps that give him that initial separation.
Agility/Leaping Ability: Has wiggle to him and moves like a running back on screen passes in terms of missing tacklers and keeping his balance. Does not jump well when matched up against a cover man. Mistimes his leaps and does not get the ball at the apex of his jump.
Blocking: Willing to throw his hit in to the action when trying to block. High effort player that is often found downfield throwing that extra block. Uses long arms to control defensive backs and keep them from pursuing.
Body Control/Body Adjustment: Plays quicker than most on a wet surface because of his top tier balance. Despite standing 6’3, he plays with a low center of gravity that maximizes what he gets out of his movement. Positions his body well at the last second to make the tough catch. Will struggle with going up and getting the ball.
Concentration/Hands: As tough as it gets when it comes to going over the middle and making the catch with defenders bearing down on him. Has always been a willing receiver in traffic that has a one track mind, making the catch. Lets the ball get in to his body at times, but for the most part he is a hand catcher. Ball has some wiggle to it when he comes in contact with it, needs to look it in on a more consistent basis.
Release: Very tough to jam at the line. Will beat a press corner in a variety of ways. Uses his hands well to chop down on a cornerback’s arms. Makes himself small when exploding off the line, making it tough to get a good shot at him.
Route Running: Ran a big route tree at LSU and will enter the league with top tier route running skills. Explodes in to his breaks and can make a ninety degree turn at a high speed. Stays low to make him even quicker.
Separation: Can create the initial separation with his burst, but does not stay open the further downfield he gets. Lacks the top end speed and corners can catch up to him in space. Will be a favorite underneath target because of that window he creates off the snap.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Has the ideal frame for the position. Plenty of length with big hands, slender frame but with enough muscle to handle the physical defensive backs.
Speed: Average speed for the position. Has the gazelle-like long strides in space that can run away from defenders. Can be caught from behind.
Vision/Run After the Catch: Used on plenty of screen passes because of his ability to make the first tackler miss. Can catch the ball in full stride and make the initial move to spring himself free all in one motion. Does not go down easy, will fight for the extra yards and rip his way through arm tackles.
Final Word: After returning for his senior season, LaFell did not put together the big year statistically that many were hoping for. However he displayed ability and showed improvement within certain elements of the position that could put him in to first round consideration if he works out well. He is a weapon underneath because of his consistent hands, size, and willingness to put his body on the line. He does not have the skill set to be a number one receiver at the next level, but he is an immediate impact guy that has the NFL ready skill set both physically and mentally.