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NFL Atlanta Falcons

Tyler Bray: Shot in the Dark or Light of the Future?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s old news that Tennessee Volunteers‘ quarterback Tyler Bray has elected to enter this year’s NFL draft. What’s not old news is speculation over who may choose him and how quickly (or not) he may be drafted.

Could he be a candidate for the Atlanta Falcons?

Looking strictly at the facts, Bray is a talent. What he has chosen to do with that endowment is up for debate. It would certainly be easy to say simply that Bray was brought down by incompetence surrounding him, but that wouldn’t be the entire story…or the all-inclusive truth.

On his talent alone, Bray is a diamond in the rough. Ability notwithstanding, he’s still a kid with transgressions that demonstrate he’s not yet a mature adult; a negative shadow has been cast over his aptitude. From tossing beer bottles at parked cars to skipping the post-game press conference after the Alabama game, this misbehavior cannot be overlooked.

With all due honesty, Bray hasn’t had much to work with in quite some time. He’s not been progressively encouraged to shine, nor constructively reigned in when necessary. The records speak for themselves, yet they beg the question…what if?

Upon entering the NFL, what if he has the guidance of a proven, established coaching staff willing to work with him? A staff with the patience to work through the juvenile adolescent tendencies of the kid and bring the reliability of an adult that’s needed to stand strong with a Super Bowl-caliber team?

Matt Ryan is, without doubt, the undisputed quarterback for the Falcons. Yet the possibility of unforeseen circumstances (such as an injury) must be considered. A resilient, sustainable backup for Ryan is an absolute must…just in case.

The diamond in the rough may just fit the bill.