40: 4.47 (Campus)
PROS: Has good, strong, reliable hands, able to make the highlight reel one-handed catch. Has good body control and does a nice job attacking the ball in the air. Tracks the deep ball well. Has big play potential after the catch because of his speed, burst, and quickness in space. Good on the screens, slants, and any other routes that get him in space. Has the burst and quickness to get separation, flashing ability as a route runner. Manages to find soft spots in the zones and does a nice job cutting off his routes when his quarterback scrambles. Is a good return man. Has good vision as a kickoff returner with good speed. Makes the first guy miss on punts and manages to weave through traffic.
CONS: Is undersized and needs to add bulk. Has trouble beating the jam, and is less effective in traffic because of it. Is tentative about contact at times after the catch, and will be quick to hit the deck to avoid a hit. Does a bit too much dancing as a runner after the catch. Gives little effort as a blocker, and doesn't engage with the defender, just getting in the way. Can be tentative about hitting the seam on kickoffs, wanting to dance a bit. Dances a bit to much on punt returns as well. Occasionally will drop a pass because of poor concentration, looking upfield before securing the pass. Will muff some punts occasionally.
OVERVIEW: Gilyard is a playmaker for Cincinnati that was their top offensive weapon the past two years, making plays on offense and special teams. He is reminiscent Harry Douglas, but flashes DeSean Jackson-like ability at times. The past two seasons, he combined for 168 catches, 2467 yards (14.7 avg) and 22 touchdowns. This past year was his first as the primary punt returner, averaging 12.6 yards per return and scoring once. For his career, averaged 28.9 yards on 92 kickoff returns with 4 scores.
NFL FORECAST: Gilyard fits well as a slot receiver, but needs to bulk up if he wants to play on the outside. He can, and with the right quarterback and improved route-running can be a lot like Marvin Harrison in that regard. BUt that will depend on him making improvements as a route-runner. He's a finesse player and doesn't really like to get dirty. I think if you can bulk him up some, then you are going to get a good player. I'm not sure if he's going to be a go-to option like a Jackson, but at the very least should be a very good No. 3 on the next level like a Harry Douglas. But he's a guy that I think can be a very productive player in a pass-heavy offense that doesn't ask him to do a lot of blocking. I think he can at the very least be one of the top slot receivers in the league. Even though I would label him a finesse guy, I think he's competitive and do the work to improve his game at the next level. I think whether he turns into Harry Douglas or DeSean Jackson will depend on the scheme and the team he plays on, but his potential falls somewhere in between. So I think he'll be a guy that could catch 40-60 passes a year and make some big plays. I think on special teams, he's a better more natural as a punt returner, but has the speed and burst to be an effective kickoff guy.
ATL FORECAST: Gilyard is probably an upgrade over Douglas as a slot receiver, just because Douglas is coming off a knee injury and will lose some explosion. They fit a similar niche, excelling in the slot, and also working as a punt returner. I think I like Gilyard's potential to play outside a little better, but only if he can add some muscle. But while he could be a better offensive playmaker than Jenkins, he's not going to do a lot of the little things that Jenkins does, namely blocking. So I'm not sure the coaches would like him being the No. 2 option in the offense, instead would prefer him as the No. 3. He should be able to contirbute right away on offense able to play at a level comparable if not better than Douglas in 2008, although I'd expect him to really start to blossom as a playmaker in his second or third years. BUt I'm not sure there is room for both him and Douglas on the roster down the road.
VALUE: If a team snagged him at the end of the second round, it wouldn't be a reach. Although I'd probably try to target him at the beginning of the third.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
AFTER CATCH: 4.0
BODY CONTROL: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.