Tennessee’s Tyler Bray has so many of the qualities NFL scouts like to see in a starting quarterback that he should have been drafted: a big arm, classic size (6-feet-6, 232 pounds) and plenty of college production.
Bray has enough negatives that he went through seven rounds of this year’s NFL Draft without being selected: a lack of maturity and poor work habits.
His ability still makes Bray an intriguing prospect. The Chiefs will be the team that will try to develop him. They signed him after the draft, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The addition of Bray gives the Chiefs an interesting mix at quarterback. They traded over the winter with San Francisco for the starter, Alex Smith, and shortly after signed as a free-agent Chase Daniel from New Orleans to be his backup.
The race for number three now includes Bray, Ricky Stanzi and Alex Tanney. The Chiefs may decide to trim the list to four by the time training camp begins in late July.
Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist will participate in a rookie mini-camp in two weeks on a tryout basis.
Neither general manager John Dorsey nor coach Andy Reid have been able to answer questions since they signed Bray. Like the other 31 teams, they can’t be all that enamored with Bray if they didn’t draft him with any of their eight selections.
Instead, they picked an offensive lineman from tiny California University of Pennsylvania, Eric Kush, and a fullback from Kansas State, Braden Wilson, in the sixth round. They then drafted a linebacker from Princeton, Mike Catapano, in the seventh.
Bray came out of Tennessee as a junior and now may be rethinking that decision. When he declared the draft, it surprised many observers.
“I was surprised he came out of Tennessee ,’’ draft analyst Mel Kiper said before the draft. “I thought another year would have benefitted him.’’
But, problems and all, Bray still looked to be a draftable player.
“I think third round is when he gets really seriously into the discussion, fourth round,’’ Kiper said. “But hey, I've seen big, strong-armed guys like Bray go earlier than I project. I'm looking at him as a third or fourth rounder. Six-six, 232, who knows? Maybe somebody takes him in the second.’’
Nobody did, not in any round. Four quarterbacks were drafted in the seventh round, less-heralded prospects by the names of Brad Sorensen (Southern Utah), Zac Dysert (Miami of Ohio), B.J. Daniels (South Florida) and Sean Renfree (Duke).
Teams were evidently scared away by Bray’s negatives.
“Tyler Bray, there are a lot of concerns and issues there in terms of maturity and work ethic and doing all the little things you have to do as a quarterback mentally,’’ said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, also before the draft.
Bray will soon join the Chiefs and begin working with Andy Reid, who showed a nice touch in working with quarterbacks during his seasons coaching the Eagles.
“I feel I’m ready,’’ Bray said at the NFL scouting combine in February. “I’ve done a lot in college, didn’t win a lot of ball games, but I put up some pretty good numbers for the SEC and the SEC is a little bit under the NFL.
“A lot of the top guys in this draft are from the SEC, so I’ve been facing all those great draft prospects. I don’t feel it’s going to be a big jump to the NFL.’’