Mardy Gilyard selected in the 4th round of the 2010 draft is currently expected by fans to be an instant star, This pick was a great value pick for the Rams.
The Rams needed another weapon for Sam Bradford and Mardy Gilyard is the definition of a playmaker which is something that the Saint Louis Rams have lacked outside of Steven JacksonCollege Career
Gilyard played cornerback as a freshman in 2005. He finished the season with seven tackles. As a sophomore in 2006 he was red shirted due to academic reasons, I know everyone heard the story so I won't go into detail. He also played for Cincinnati Kings Comets of the Mid-Continental Football League. In 2007 Gilyard started 7 of 12 games at wide receiver for the Bearcats. He finished the season with 36 receptions for 536 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2008 he recorded 81 receptions for 1,276 yards and 11 touchdowns. 2009 as a senior he was an All-American after he had 87 receptions for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns. In the 2010 Senior Bowl and was the offensive player of the game after he had 103 yards on five receptions and a touchdown.
Gilyard finished his college career with 204 receptions for 3,003 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Senior Bowl Practices
01.31.10 - Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) – Already thought to be one of the top wide receiver prospects, Gilyard had a big day and was good enough to gain MVP honors, if not for Brandon Graham. Had over 100 yards receiving and showed good speed on the perimeter and soft hands. Proved to have good leaping ability in being able to locate the ball. – Atlanta Journal Constitution
01.29.10 - Gilyard is not hiding his high school arrest during interviews at the Senior Bowl. "Character's a big issue, so I tell them straight up," Gilyard said. "I was arrested in high school for possession of marijuana and attempt to distribute. I didn't have no problem telling (them) that." Gilyard blames the arrest on being "young and dumb," and says he isn't proud of his past misdeeds. Gilyard has drawn mixed reviews for his play down in Mobile. A projected late first- to second-round pick entering the event, the fifth-year senior has struggled with drops after measuring an inch and a half shorter and eight pounds lighter than he was listed at UC. – NFL.com
Senior Bowl: Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) had a day of redemption on Tuesday. He started this week of practice off with a rough Monday, and today he came back with a vengeance. He was still fighting some passes as they came in, but he looked hungry and did not want to disappoint. They used him on end-arounds during practice where he showed off his tremendous quickness. He caught high passes, low passes, and even had to spin away from a defender to haul in a crossing route. He absolutely blew by Syd’Quan Thompson (DB - California) on an out and up route. The best play of the day for Gilyard came when he caught a sideline pass as he was going out of bounds backwards, and still had the body control to get both feet down inbounds—backpedaling. – Draft Guys (01.26.10)
Senior Bowl: Mardy Gilyard (Cinncinnati): In his first practice with the North squad, Gilyard fought with the ball more than any receiver on the north squad, with the balls fired to him at a high velocity from a short distance. He dropped no less than seven passes in these drills, most of them bouncing off his hands and he was clearly frustrated with himself each time. The coaching staff appeared to be instructing him to catch the ball more with his fingers and not his palms. They also continued to remind him to get his hands up faster and with better form. In drills versus corners, Gilyard tipped off his breaks numerous times. His first break was rounded off and he was undercut for an interception. On a deeper route, Gilyard tipped off another break, looking hesitant on what route he was running. Despite this rough start, Gilyard was easily the most explosive receiver on the field and he did make some nice grabs of throws away from his body. – Draft Guys (01.25.10)
These are basically what I seen from videos and what I got from other websites.
He makes the difficult catch. He fights for extra yards and has great YAC yards, He is great on short routes (good because we run a west coast offense) Has above average acceleration, used to play CB so he knows how to fake them out. Has great vision as a returner and as a receiver. Plays the ball well and also is a terror in open space. Can also make the first person miss.
He struggles fighting off physical corners and the jam. He also doesn't have top speed and gets tackled from behind because of it, also he isn't very polished route runner because he comes from a spread offense. He is very thin so durability is a concern he weighs around 185. Also his hands are a concern he occasionally drops a sure pass.
Speculation on why Mardy was drafted in the 4th round
Mardy Gilyard vs Jerome Murphy most of the times ended with Murphy winning, I won't lie I don't have proof as I am writing this but when Mardy Gilyard came back from his suspension he was asked a question about Jerome sayinh that he basically killed Mardy every time they played and Gilyard said not always, Would appreciate and update if someone can find the interview it's on some Ram website out there.
Another reason that I can think of is because many teams don't know what he would do when he got alot of money from his contract, I didn't think this was an issue untill I read some reports that said he could be an character issue.
Also Mardy was arrested during high school for marijuana possession and attempt to sell.
Does this seem like a bad character guy to you? Before you answer that just think about how Lendale White and Taylor Mays attacked Pete Caroll.
How Will Mardy Gilyard make an impact
Screens will be Mardy Gilyards best friend since he has great vision. In the beginning I think he will be primary used as a kick returner and punt returner barring any injury. Eventually when he gets better with his routes he will be used in three or four wide receiver sets. Also I think our offense will change when Sam Bradford becomes the starter I think we will go into shotgun more, When that happens I expect Mardy to be in the rotation doing mainly short routes but hopefully making them into big gains.
Tevins Mardy Gilyard expectations:
Mardy Gilyard will be a solid addition to our receiving core, I think he will be better when he isn't depended on to make everything happen, and eventually he will be a great slot receiver and this season expect him to get a lot of first downs. Look for him to excel at KR/PR in the meantime while he becomes a better receiving option
I wouldn't compare him to DeSean Jackson or Percy Harvin I would compare him to a receiving Joshua Cribbs.
His rookie year expect him to have less than 35 catches and less than 400 receiving yards 4 touchdowns. I would be extremely surprised if he surpassed those numbers.
How Mardy Gilyard Can Exceed those numbers:
The first one would be for Mardy Gilyard to beat out Brandon Gibson and become third on the depth chart.
The Second would be for for the Rams to have wide receiving injuries like 2009 season
The last would be for the Rams to become a passing team.
Mardy Gilyard was a great pick for the Rams, He gives us a play making option as a returner and should become a solid/good wide receiver which is great for a 4th round pick, especially since there are a lot of bust at the WR position and to get one who should at worst become a great returner and an okay receiver is a great steal.
Here are some videos to watch the first one is my personal favorite. Hopeful he learns to run all his routes like that.
Here are some highlights/lowlights of Mardy Gilyard.