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View Full Version : Marquez Branson...our other rookie tight end


footstepsfrom#27
05-23-2009, 09:09 PM
Anybody seen this kid Marquez Branson play? Did you even know he was here? People have looked at the other UDFA's so I thought I'd check this dude out.

He's been lost in the controversy over Quinn but after watching the video, a few of the things I noticed...he gets separation to get open and he makes plays, and he also catches the ball well in traffic and appears to have really good hands. He was very productive in their offense, the team's leading receiver since he got there...42 catches and 10 TD's last year...over 80 catches and 18 TD's in his career. Those are pretty good numbers for a tight end. The knock on him is his height. At 6'3" 250 he's considered more of a FB or H-back type and playing at U of Central Arkansas the competion he faced wasn't the best. His combine numbers were right in the middle of the pack...decidely better than Quinns. Watch the video and see what you think...I think he might have a shot, perhaps only on the practice squad this year but with Putzier here, it looks like they might want to keep four TE's. He also might be moved to FB...this says he was the 2nd ranked FB prospect in the draft: http://www.ucasports.com/questionswith.asp?qw=24

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Spider
05-23-2009, 09:13 PM
He got skill .........Can he do that in the pros ? I hope so .......

watermock
05-23-2009, 09:50 PM
He looks great, but our index card is only so big....

Did we bring him in? No? history.

This is just another example of Mcdummy's arrogance.

This kid is faster, and obviously a favorite target. He runs the seam like Scheff.

Whatever Boy Genius.
I'll give him this much, he's found some good UDFA's.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-23-2009, 09:54 PM
He looks great, but our index card is only so big....

Did we bring him in? No? history.

This is just another example of Mcdummy's arrogance.

This kid is faster, and obviously a favorite target. He runs the seam like Scheff.

Whatever Boy Genius.
I'll give him this much, he's found some good UDFA's.

What in god's name are you talking about? Example of his arrogance?

footstepsfrom#27
05-23-2009, 09:55 PM
He looks great, but our index card is only so big....

Did we bring him in? No? history.

This is just another example of Mcdummy's arrogance.

This kid is faster, and obviously a favorite target. He runs the seam like Scheff.

Whatever Boy Genius.
I'll give him this much, he's found some good UDFA's.
He's already on the roster...UDFA.

watermock
05-23-2009, 10:03 PM
What in god's name are you talking about? Example of his arrogance?


Exactly. Are unable to read? This kid actually splits the seam and can catch.

Spending a second on Quinn and our first on Smith was borderline criminal.

footstepsfrom#27
05-23-2009, 10:08 PM
:giggle:

Popps
05-23-2009, 10:26 PM
Looks very fluid catching the ball. Never seems like he's fighting it at all. Pretty natural looking TE. Seems to have decent enough speed. He runs a little funny in traffic at times, but TE's aren't always pretty.

I like that he was a focal-point of their offense, even if it was a small school.

Good find, Footsteps. I love watching these street FA's to see if one (or more) can pan out. I love our crop this year.

Hulamau
05-23-2009, 11:22 PM
I like that McD is getting at least two of everything, often one high and one low, odds of at least one becoming a real gem are much higher. And at least at a couple of positions both will likely stick and make the team stronger and deeper.

We have so much fresh young blood to work with you got to love it. So what if this year is a transition year, the foundation is being laid for many years of success.

As long as Orton and/or Brandstater work out, our offense is set for a long while with just a few tinkering's here or there.

The defense is going to be significantly improved, as are special teams with all the proven special teams studs now on the squad.

We needed to plug 6 or 7 holes on Defense and have at least done half the job already, and perhaps a lot more, if just half of these D draft picks and UDFAs score we will be almost complete, perhaps a stud player or two needed next year to put the whole thing in high gear.

Sure its going to take everyone a while to get on the same page with all new schemes on both sides of the ball, new coaches everywhere except Oline and RB and so many new players.

But I'm absolutely behind what McD is trying to do, and IS doing here! He's not looking for a 3 or 4 year rebuilding project, he's going for a one to two year re-infusion while making progress NOW.

If McD hits on over 60% of these guys were are in good shape, if it turns out to be one of Shanny's drafts of the first half of this decade, then we're in trouble and its at least a 3 to 4 year project, with perhaps a new coach after two or three years.

But after the Cutler sulk fest fiasco, Bowlen is going to give McD at least an extra year to get this ship going in the right direction.

The point is .... the closer anyone looks at these players, both Draft picks and UDFA, the more impressed everyone becomes with the quality of guys McD has found all around.

Hulamau
05-23-2009, 11:29 PM
And at least Quinn has his priorities straight! :sunshine:

http://web1.denverbroncos.com/resources/custom/Images/09%20Blogs/quinn_graduation_090523.jpg

http://web1.denverbroncos.com/resources/custom/Images/09%20Blogs/quinn_graduation3_090523.jpg

http://web1.denverbroncos.com/resources/custom/Images/09%20Blogs/quinn_graduation2_090523.jpg

Florida_Bronco
05-24-2009, 12:17 AM
I like that McD is getting at least two of everything, often one high and one low, odds of at least one becoming a real gem are much higher. And at least at a couple of positions both will likely stick and make the team stronger and deeper.

We have so much fresh young blood to work with you got to love it. So what if this year is a transition year, the foundation is being laid for many years of success.

As long as Orton and/or Brandstater work out, our offense is set for a long while with just a few tinkering's here or there.

The defense is going to be significantly improved, as are special teams with all the proven special teams studs now on the squad.

We needed to plug 6 or 7 holes on Defense and have at least done half the job already, and perhaps a lot more, if just half of these D draft picks and UDFAs score we will be almost complete, perhaps a stud player or two needed next year to put the whole thing in high gear.

Sure its going to take everyone a while to get on the same page with all new schemes on both sides of the ball, new coaches everywhere except Oline and RB and so many new players.

But I'm absolutely behind what McD is trying to do, and IS doing here! He's not looking for a 3 or 4 year rebuilding project, he's going for a one to two year re-infusion while making progress NOW.

If McD hits on over 60% of these guys were are in good shape, if it turns out to be one of Shanny's drafts of the first half of this decade, then we're in trouble and its at least a 3 to 4 year project, with perhaps a new coach after two or three years.

But after the Cutler sulk fest fiasco, Bowlen is going to give McD at least an extra year to get this ship going in the right direction.

The point is .... the closer anyone looks at these players, both Draft picks and UDFA, the more impressed everyone becomes with the quality of guys McD has found all around.

I agree with this post. I'm very excited for Broncos football to start again.

ludo21
05-24-2009, 12:26 AM
Quinn wore that to graduation??

That is pretty cool ;D

Anaximines
05-24-2009, 12:40 AM
who??

footstepsfrom#27
05-24-2009, 02:48 AM
Found a few more factoids here: http://www.ucafans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=46028&sid=a11cbc176ba3e7cd0d6f52d3a1ef65ea

Sounds like he might be a bit faster than his official 4.71 40 time at the combine, perhaps in the 4.59 range; also he's a converted WR, which I didn't know, and had a 16 ypc average last year. Size, speed and hands might be similar to Hillis, though I didn't see him plowing people over in the video, at least not to the extent that Hillis does. I wonder if our board listed him as a TE or a FB/H-back?

s0phr0syne
05-24-2009, 07:42 AM
Branson was one of the many players in this draft billed as this year's Hillis, same thing with that white RB that Seattle ended up signing. He is another UDFA with a quite a bit of fanfare that we managed to pickup (read: doled out the biggest signing bonus for, a method I don't necessarily disagree with), but this is the first time I've seen clips of him playing. I gotta say, I don't see the Hillis comparisons, AT ALL, but he does look like he might be talented enough to stick...I guess? Hard to come away with any solid evaluations based on the competition and without seeing him doing any lead blocking/blocking in general.

On the topic of Quinn wearing that to his graduation, I personally think it's pretty classless that he did that. I want to be super-Bronco-homer about it too, but I'd be pretty disappointed if I was one of the other kids who worked (or partied) their asses off for the last four years to be upstaged by some giant dude wearing his football jersey to my graduation. Seems pretty egocentric to me.

footstepsfrom#27
05-24-2009, 08:29 AM
Branson was one of the many players in this draft billed as this year's Hillis, same thing with that white RB that Seattle ended up signing. He is another UDFA with a quite a bit of fanfare that we managed to pickup (read: doled out the biggest signing bonus for, a method I don't necessarily disagree with), but this is the first time I've seen clips of him playing. I gotta say, I don't see the Hillis comparisons, AT ALL, but he does look like he might be talented enough to stick...I guess? Hard to come away with any solid evaluations based on the competition and without seeing him doing any lead blocking/blocking in general.
I only see the similarity in terms of size/speed/hands...though I can only judge his hands on the basis of what I saw in the clips, it's obvious that he made a lot of difficult catches. Interestingly, he...like Quinn...was recruited as a WR out of high school. The general consensus seems to be that he's better suited to an H-back or FB role...though as you say we need to see him block.

Borks147
05-24-2009, 08:55 AM
On the topic of Quinn wearing that to his graduation, I personally think it's pretty classless that he did that. I want to be super-Bronco-homer about it too, but I'd be pretty disappointed if I was one of the other kids who worked (or partied) their asses off for the last four years to be upstaged by some giant dude wearing his football jersey to my graduation. Seems pretty egocentric to me.

I'm torn too. Might it be a tradition at UNC for drafted players to wear their new unis? Thats the first thing that popped into my head, since it does seem so weird.

Punisher
05-24-2009, 08:55 AM
Reminds me of Wesley Duke

gyldenlove
05-24-2009, 09:04 AM
Reminds me of Jeb Putzier and the Nate.

Polster60
05-24-2009, 10:35 AM
He doesn't really seem to be very explosive. He runs good routes it seems, and catches the ball in traffic. But I worry that the competition level is too low to gauge just how well he will perform against professional athletes. He also seems to kind of lumber when he runs. He has big strides, but not very fast feet. That wouuld probably worry me the most when he is blocking, slow feet will be a weakness d-cords will be able to expose.

As for Quinn I think its great. Let the kid be proud for the begining of his new life as a denver bronco. Also he graduated and walked in Deccember. So I believe he isn't actually a part of the commencement ceremony, but he is there to hang out with his friends and teammates that are graduating.

Spider
05-24-2009, 11:34 AM
He doesn't really seem to be very explosive. He runs good routes it seems, and catches the ball in traffic. But I worry that the competition level is too low to gauge just how well he will perform against professional athletes. He also seems to kind of lumber when he runs. He has big strides, but not very fast feet. That wouuld probably worry me the most when he is blocking, slow feet will be a weakness d-cords will be able to expose.

As for Quinn I think its great. Let the kid be proud for the begining of his new life as a denver bronco. Also he graduated and walked in Deccember. So I believe he isn't actually a part of the commencement ceremony, but he is there to hang out with his friends and teammates that are graduating.

tight ends are explosive ? even Sharpe wasnt explosive , neither is Gonzo ....

The Joker
05-24-2009, 11:46 AM
That's one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my life.

Polster60
05-24-2009, 01:50 PM
I wouldn't say that TEs aren't explosive. TG, Sharpe, Gates all have a sudden explosiveness off the snap and in their routes that help them create seperation. I woulld say its more of a quick twitch type of explosiveness rather than raw speed, agility. Watch the highlight tape and tell me where he shows the type of ability to create seperation against LBs like derrick brooks, keith bullocks, or even our own D.J. williams??? I'm not saying he won't amount to anything, I just believe that he needs to be given time to develop. It ridiculous though for many of the people trashing the Quinn pick to be supporting this pick. Just allow these young athletes time to show their worth. Branson was obviously in a system that featured him and tried to get him the ball. They had him running te screens. But we don't know what Quinn will provide outside of his blocking ability because he played in a system that featured its WRs (Hakeem Hicks and Tate were both drafted on the first day)and RBs. , the coaches have a better idea.

Quinn reminds me of the Eddie Royal pick last year. Many were a bit confused by the pick because he seemed to be only a special teams addition; KR and PR, that might develop into a decent slot reciever in the future. Eddie Royal never had the recieving statistics that would have warranted a first day selection though he had started to rise the weeks before the draft. Eddie Royal though had the work ethic and drive to thrive and succeed. I believe that not only does Quinn have this same trait, but many of the players we drafted this year have the same drive. These players are football players, not track athletes, or physical freaks of nature. I trust the direction we are headed in. But just like I said with Branson, we should also allow these kids time to learn, develop, and compete before we make our final judgements.

footstepsfrom#27
05-24-2009, 05:43 PM
I wouldn't say that TEs aren't explosive. TG, Sharpe, Gates all have a sudden explosiveness off the snap and in their routes that help them create seperation. I woulld say its more of a quick twitch type of explosiveness rather than raw speed, agility. Watch the highlight tape and tell me where he shows the type of ability to create seperation against LBs like derrick brooks, keith bullocks, or even our own D.J. williams???
That's interesting you say that, because when I watched this video, the one thing that stands out more than anything else is that this guy made a lot of catches where he wasn't just open...he was WIDE open. In some caes there is literally nobody within 8 yards of him. He may or may not be explosive in terms of his speed, and he may not be able to beat NFL defenses, but it was apparent that he was beating SOMEBODY in those secondaries and beating them BADLY. Keep in mind that he's seen as a fullback/H-back more than a TE. If you look at him from that perspective it might change how you view him. Obviously we don't know what he can do against NFL talent, but we have that issue with every rookie. The skill set I see is this; he gets open and he gets separation from defenders. He catches the ball even when he's in traffic, and he makes catches that aren't easy. He also made plays. Whether he appears to lumber or whatever...this is a TE or FB/H-back we're looking at not a wide receiver, and how many times do you see the TE go 80 yards with a pass and score? He also appears to have some decent moves with the ball in his hands, another thing not usually seen in tight ends or fullbacks.
I'm not saying he won't amount to anything, I just believe that he needs to be given time to develop. It ridiculous though for many of the people trashing the Quinn pick to be supporting this pick.
I agree he should be seen as a developmental guy in all probability, but it's not ridiculous to point out some obvious things; that this guy easily outperformed Quinn at the combine, that he was far more productive as a pass catcher (which is a big part of playing TE) and that he cost us nothing to sign as opposed to a 2nd round pick. That's a comparison worth noting, and one needn't predict failure for Quinn to be able to point this out.
Just allow these young athletes time to show their worth. Branson was obviously in a system that featured him and tried to get him the ball. They had him running te screens. But we don't know what Quinn will provide outside of his blocking ability because he played in a system that featured its WRs (Hakeem Hicks and Tate were both drafted on the first day)and RBs. , the coaches have a better idea.
Actually the coaches DON'T always have a better idea. As much info as they have and with all the resources at their disposal, we see time and again that NFL teams make mistakes...and they make them frequently. This is nowhere near an exact science and often times fans actually prove to be correct. In any case, your comparison here is somewhat spurious. You seem to be saying that the difference in performance resulted from advantages one player had over the other since his offense featured him. That's circular reasoning. Hasn't it occured to you that the system featured the player or didn't do so due to the talents each player had and not the other way around? If UNC had seen Quinn as a receiving threat and a playmaker do you think they'd have found a way to factor him in a bit more? The Cowboys won 3 Superbowls with a HOF receiver...that didn't stop them from turning to Jay Novacek as well. Name an NFL offense that has a highly talented playmaker at TE and basically ignores him because their system only uses receivers. Even in New England...where the TE was rarely used...he was used more often than 12 catches in four years. UCA focused their attack with Branson in mind not because they were predisposed to throw to the TE, but because they had one who could make plays.
Quinn reminds me of the Eddie Royal pick last year. Many were a bit confused by the pick because he seemed to be only a special teams addition; KR and PR, that might develop into a decent slot reciever in the future. Eddie Royal never had the recieving statistics that would have warranted a first day selection though he had started to rise the weeks before the draft.
This is not true. First of all, Royal was a highly recruited high school receiver, not just a return man. He was a Superprep All American, the top ranked player in Virgina, and nowhere near the project Quinn was as a TE coming into college. Quinn was a obscure receiver who weighed 220 pounds coming out of college with minimal high school production. At Virginia Tech, Royal was a Freshman All American and started four years. He was honorable mentionan All American as a Jr. and 2nd team All American as a SR. and he finished 4th in school history in receptions and 5th in TD's as well as 6th in receiving yardage and 1st in all purpose yardage. Even though he also played in a run-first offense he caught 119 passes in college...contrast that with 12 caught by Quinn...and it's obvious that these two guys are not even remotely similar as far as their background from college ball goes. Also...Royal showed tremendous explosiveness as a playmaker with the ball in his hands as a punt/kick returner, a skill set that directly relates to also making plays in the passing game. Don't confuse anything about these two guys as the same based on what they did in college because they are not.
Eddie Royal though had the work ethic and drive to thrive and succeed. I believe that not only does Quinn have this same trait, but many of the players we drafted this year have the same drive. These players are football players, not track athletes, or physical freaks of nature. I trust the direction we are headed in. But just like I said with Branson, we should also allow these kids time to learn, develop, and compete before we make our final judgements.
I really didn't want to turn this into another debate on Quinn or the rest of the draft, let alone a dissertation on the merrits of the combine skills, though it ought to be obvious that the NFL would not test these guys if speed and strength were not vital for success in the league. I continuously hear this "track athlete" thing used to rationalize why a guy who runs a 40 timed with a sun dial is going to succeed in the NFL when player X who ran the 100 in the Olympics sucked. The truth is, even those guys who didn't run blazing 40's, still usually have some game speed in pads. There are rare exceptions...Jim Zorn comes to mind as a guy who was legitimately SLOW for an NFL receiver. But Zorn was probably the best pure route runner and the smartest receiver ever in terms of how he was able to get open. He fooled NFL corners and was a nightmare of instinctual moves and double moves than turned even pro bowl coverage guys like Louie Wright into pretzels trying to stay with him. These exceptions to the rule of speed do not prove that every guy who can't run is meant to be a playmaker in the NFL. I really hope Quinn turns into the next Daniel Graham, which is who I think he's meant to replace, but I'm also realistic enough to recognize that at this point, outside of his blocking, he's probably better considered as a receiving project who could develop but might not.

footstepsfrom#27
05-24-2009, 05:50 PM
Reminds me of Jeb Putzier and the Nate.
Putzier was also originally a WR who converted to TE, so that comparison has some merrit. It might come down to those two competing for the same job.

gyldenlove
05-24-2009, 05:53 PM
Putzier was also originally a WR who converted to TE, so that comparison has some merrit. It might come down to those two competing for the same job.

Nate Jackson was a WR too I believe.

footstepsfrom#27
05-24-2009, 05:59 PM
Nate Jackson was a WR too I believe.
It's really to bad he couldn't stay healthy because he had some skills.

Polster60
05-25-2009, 02:01 AM
Footsteps your arguments are valid. Perhaps it is circular thinking, but I can't remember the last time a UNC te was taken in the draft that had substantial recieving stats, particularly one that had any stats that would be considered elite; I admit I don't have much of an opportunity to watch UNC football and I currently can;t recall such a prospect. But can a prospect not have inflated stats because the system that player plays in might feature that position more so than others?? There have been plenty of players that have had great numbers due to the system they play in, but often don't succeed at the next level.
Also, I'm not advocating one prospect over another, or at least that is not my intention. I'm just pointing out what I see. Yes branson gets open, and yes he has what looks like very good, soft hands. But when I watch the opposing players he is matched up against I see a lack of elite opposing talent; marginal at best. I do like that he cathes with his hands and not his body. Like I said I would like these players to be allowed sufficient time to adjust and develop before I make any final judgements. But I must admit this is the part of the offseason I enjoy most. I love to watch player films and try to imagine how they might fit into the team.
I watched the New England- New York jets game today and I can see how both Graham and potentially Quinn could cause many miss matches. In this particular game they played two TE formations often and both were capable of blocking or breaking out and recieving. If we can get both Graham and Quinn on the field at the same time D-cords will have difficulties determining whether it will be pass or run. And if it is a pass, do both graham and quinn stay in to block? or does one run a route? Do both run routes? It could cause some problems.

footstepsfrom#27
05-25-2009, 02:19 AM
Footsteps your arguments are valid. Perhaps it is circular thinking, but I can't remember the last time a UNC te was taken in the draft that had substantial recieving stats, particularly one that had any stats that would be considered elite; I admit I don't have much of an opportunity to watch UNC football and I currently can;t recall such a prospect. But can a prospect not have inflated stats because the system that player plays in might feature that position more so than others?? There have been plenty of players that have had great numbers due to the system they play in, but often don't succeed at the next level.
Also, I'm not advocating one prospect over another, or at least that is not my intention. I'm just pointing out what I see. Yes branson gets open, and yes he has what looks like very good, soft hands. But when I watch the opposing players he is matched up against I see a lack of elite opposing talent; marginal at best. I do like that he cathes with his hands and not his body. Like I said I would like these players to be allowed sufficient time to adjust and develop before I make any final judgements. But I must admit this is the part of the offseason I enjoy most. I love to watch player films and try to imagine how they might fit into the team.
I watched the New England- New York jets game today and I can see how both Graham and potentially Quinn could cause many miss matches. In this particular game they played two TE formations often and both were capable of blocking or breaking out and recieving. If we can get both Graham and Quinn on the field at the same time D-cords will have difficulties determining whether it will be pass or run. And if it is a pass, do both graham and quinn stay in to block? or does one run a route? Do both run routes? It could cause some problems.
Just a couple points; first, small college and HBCU players have made it in the NFL frequently enough that we ought to no longer be surpised when they do...NCAA scholarship rules have changed this somewhat, and second; it might be just as reasonable to think Scheffler can learn to block better as it is to think that Quinn becomes a receiving threat. If we're really thinking of a two TE offense...who do you take off the field? I'd rather have Marshall, Royall or Hillis on the field instead of riding the bench just so we can try to confuse the defense. I can see the logic for short yardage situations, but as a base offense I'm not enthusiastic about anything that takes snaps from any one of those guys I listed.

Polster60
05-25-2009, 09:26 AM
I agree, I think the package with Graham and Quinn will be used more often in redzone and short yardage situations, but even then I bet scheffler will be substituted in that package often to create as much, if not more mismatch problems. Scheffler has improved his blocking to the extent where he isn't the liability he once was. I just think it will help with our redzone and short yardage problems that we had last year.

Also, I would expect that if Branson does make the team it will be on practice squad. Like you mentioned there have been plenty of players that have come from the lower competition levels that have succeeded. But also many of those players had an adjustment period. I think this training camp and season will be one of the more entertaining and interesting camps and seasons because there is so many different storylines and new players. Damned I wish it were training camp time already.