Broncos Prospect Profile: Tyrie Cleveland sneakily provides instant value to Denver’s roster

Florida Gators wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (89) catches the ball for a touchdown as time expires to win the game as Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Micah Abernathy (22) attempted to defend during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Sep 16, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (89) catches the ball for a touchdown as time expires to win the game as Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Micah Abernathy (22) attempted to defend during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrie Cleveland is not getting nearly enough attention as a great seventh-round pick, for what he should provide now, as a rookie, and what he could turn in to if he’s developed correctly.

What exactly does that entail? Let’s take a look.

Positives

Tyrie Cleveland should be an instant impact player on special teams, in part thanks to his experience as a gunner at the University of Florida. Despite being one of the Gators’ most talented receivers, Cleveland had no qualms with contributing on special teams as well, which was valuable to the team and showed his selflessness.

Cleveland can also be a highly dangerous threat with his combination of size, vertical ability, and speed. At 6’2″, 205 pounds, with 33-inch arms, a nearly 40-inch vertical and a 4.42 40-yard dash, he possesses an athletic profile that separates him from many of his peers in a loaded wide receiver class.

While at Florida, Cleveland also had an unquantifiable “clutchness” that would see him make the biggest plays when his team needed it the most.

He is more than willing to do whatever his team needs of him and most of the time he has the talent to pull it off. Need Cleveland to tackle Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle on special teams? He’s got you covered. Need him to lay a block on Kristian Fulton or Trevon Diggs to open a gap in the run game? He can do that too. Do you need a game-winning hail mary as time expires against a hated rival? No problem, throw it to Tyrie.

Negatives

Cleveland’s character and athletic profile make him well worth a seventh-round pick, but he lacks quite a bit of refinement and wasn’t very productive at Florida.

He has a hard time pulling away from corners and creating separation even though he’s usually faster than them. This is because his routes don’t have much of the quickness or snap that allows someone like Jerry Jeudy to create space.

He also struggles to separate against more physical corners and press coverage. He’s solid at taking the lid off the defense, but if he gets jammed at the line, he’ll often have a hard time recovering.

Verdict

Tyrie Cleveland is the ideal developmental receiver you find late in the draft. He has the physical traits and measurables, plus the mentality and toughness that make general managers and scouts salivate. He might not ever be anything more than an occasional deep threat or red zone target at the bottom of the roster with how raw he is, but at the very least he’ll be a high-end special teamer and you take that any day of the week in the seventh round.

Draft pick grade: B+

Player Comparison: Josh Reynolds, WR, Los Angeles Rams

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