August 28, 2011

Breaking down Gladney's game

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There's a heck of a lot to like about Kevin Gladney from a physical standpoint. Though probably not his listed 6-foot-4, he's at least 6-foot-2 and he really glides out there. One thing I really look for in receivers is that initial burst off the line, especially against bump and run coverage. Gladney really gets off the line quickly and uses his hands pretty well to keep the defender off of him.

He's a long strider, so he may not look like he's moving very fast at times but he can definitely run. He didn't see a ton of balls thrown his way on Thursday night but his ball skills were evident on the first quarter slant he caught where the coverage was pretty solid and he simply went up and snatched the ball out of the air at its highest point.

The two major things I saw as areas of improvement or concern were that he needs to get stronger (not at all uncommon for such a young receiver) and I didn't see a lot of variations with his route running. I filmed every offensive rep Gladney took and the vast majority of his reps had him running about three basic routes, a quick-out, a slant, and a little drag in front of the linebackers. His actual route-running was solid, though he does round off his out-routes a bit too much. I just would have liked to see a wider variety of routes being run to get a better feel for his overall ability to run all of the routes he will be asked to run at the next level.

Overall, I had Gladney as the No. 12 ranked prospect in Ohio in our early 2013 rankings and after seeing him live, I wouldn't expect too much of a change in either direction. He's a very good prospect that will see some big offers come his way.


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