Each year are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the NFL Draft; the 2017 NFL Draft is no different. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for red shirt senior wide receiver Travin Dural, LSU Tigers.
Dural is an interesting player to scout as not many players peak during their sophomore year only to then see their yards per catch averages and yardage totals decline each subsequent season. After his Sophomore season highs of 37 catches, 758 yards, 20.5 yards per catch Dural finished this past year with only 28 receptions for 280 yards and a single touchdown. Yes, the entire 2016 LSU team only completed 174 passes for 2281 yards with twelve passing touchdowns, so there is a lot to unravel. Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the six games I reviewed of the senior play maker: this year’s Senior Bowl, 2016 contests versus Arkansas, Louisville, and Ole Miss along with 2015 games against Auburn and Alabama. Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. Here are my thoughts:
Cons: The wide out sometimes makes it obvious in his stance and release that he is not going to be targeted on that play. During these times, he did not release quickly off the ball or kept turning his head while in his stance on the line of scrimmage. This also show his maturity level as to whether the young receiver is a team player or not. Dural continues to fight injuries with his right hamstring (tore it in 2015 and might have slowed him down this past season) as well as hand injuries that affected his ability to snare the pigskin. He was rarely used on two receiver sets which are most commonly used with the dominant run first LSU Tiger attack. The receiver traps a lot of his targets with his body and made some poor adjustments to the ball in the air. Dural would take a lot of time finding the ball in flight and stare it down until it was in his hands; this gives his coverage the opportunity to realize where the pigskin is going without trying to find it.
Pros: Dural can be used split out wide or in the slot and uses his hands well to get off the line of scrimmage when facing press coverage. He got used a few times on jet sweeps and showed some burst along with quick feet in open spaces; this was noticeable on short screens to him as well. The former LSU Tiger was a good deep threat in 2015 before his hamstring injury by tracking the ball well and catching it in stride deep down the sidelines. The wide out is a willing physical receiver in the middle of the field and can leap above his coverage to snare the ball at its highest point. He is one of the few in his draft class that can get separation against physical coverage with his speedy smoothness. His run-blocking is quite good with all his experience getting in front of defenders for Derrius Guice and Leonard Fournette.
Overall impressions: His inconsistencies alone can drive you crazy if you let them. While I think Dural flashes, he will take time at the next level to carve out a role and gain the trust of his quarterback and coaching staff. His upside would be to become a deep threat in the vein of former Cowboy Alvin Harper. I expect almost nothing from him in 2017, so I would not draft him before the late third round or early fourth round in a rookie draft (might wait longer depending on NFL team that selects him). The former Tiger needs to stay on a taxi squad to see if he can overcome his injuries and become more natural on deeper targets.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next few weeks, so keep checking the site for more content. Please check out my other content as well. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.