Iron 52: Breaking Down Birmingham’s WR Room

Iron

Credit: Birmingham Iron

Quan Bray

Credit: Birmingham Iron

Quan Bray was a special team ace for the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. He’s ready to prove that he can be so much more. He was an All-SEC Punt returner coming out of Auburn. He was an unheralded prospect, but I think he can provide the Iron a number 1 receiver.

He’s bounced around from the Colts to the Buffalo Bills, to the Houston Texans, but couldn’t catch on. Now he gets the chance here.

Quan Bray is also a really good person. I know that seems a little out of place here, but I want to bring up his foundation. The Quan Bray All-Purpose foundation helps children who have experienced and suffered from domestic abuse. Bray himself has suffered from tragic domestic abuse when his father shot and killed Bray’s mother. That was on July 3, 2011. On July 4th, 2011, He attends his first Auburn Summer practice. He hasn’t talked to his father since.

In an interview with AL.com;  “It was a tragic moment in my life,” Bray said, “but a lot of people would make that a downfall, make that an excuse. But I don’t think that was meant for me to make an excuse. I think it was meant for me to keep pushing. I knew what she would want me to do.”

I know this is a more serious topic, but it shows how football has shaped his life and how dedicated he is to it. His foundation is life-changing for children. He’s the kind of guy you want on your team.

Quan Bray
Credit: Birmingham Iron

Amba Etta-Tawo

Man does this team have speed at receiver. He ran a 4.35 at his pro day which would have ranked 3rd out of all receivers behind John Ross and Curtis Samuel. He also currently on the Houston Texans practice squad as well. So, the NFL has some interest as well. According to PFF, the 6’1 deep threat, has good size, length, and speed for a field-stretching receiver. Etta-Tawo showed the ability to get behind the defense on straight runs and also go up and get off-target passes. He’s great at beating the press and getting past the corner.

His cons are that he needs to work on his physicality on the catch and work on his route running.

They gave him a player comparison of Sammie Coates from the Pittsburgh Steelers which I think I pretty accurate. He’s raw a WR, but he has the tools to be a really good player.

 

DeVozea Felton

Speaking of speed, let me introduce you to DeVozea Felton. He’s been nicknamed “Turbo” by his teammates for his ability to run straight past defenses. They called his speed elite.  “He flies,” Iron quarterback Blake Sims said of Felton. “In a blink of an eye, he’s gone” according to an AAF interview. I can’t find anything online about him, but the AAF did a great article about him. (https://aaf.com/stacking-those-blocks-devozea-felton-brings-elite) Felton is an intriguing name to watch and to see how much of a role he plays in this offense.

 

Tobias Palmer

Tobias Palmer has been on and off NFL active rosters his whole career he played for six different NFL teams and two CFL Teams. He’s made one appearance in an NFL game as well. In NC State, he caught 91 receptions for 1277 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns.  His senior year he had 781 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his final season with the Wolfpack. However, he is also great returner as a senior, he piled up over 1,200 kick return yards and scored twice.

“His most impressive outing of the season was against Clemson when he set an ACC record with 496 all-purpose yards” according to bigcatcountry.com.

He is also another speedster, as he ran a 4.31 40. He needs to work on routes and beating man coverage, but he’s a weapon in special teams and on offense. I think he could be one of the very best kick returners in the league.

Tobias has always been open to the media and if you’re interested: here’s a great piece that sporting news did on him: http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/nfl-free-agency-2015-tobais-palmer-buffalo-bills-jaguars-saints-chargers-nc-state/19dtcn63i8akr10gyksk537xz9

 

Quinton Patton

Experience, enthusiasm. Those are the words that come to mind when I read about Quinton Patton. There’s a great story from when he was drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round of 2013 NFL Draft. Right after he was drafted, he flew straight to San Francisco and went straight to their training facilities. He had to be warned away from them so the team would receive a fine for “Early Presence,” a Violation of the NFL’s practice rules. The team loved his hard work and enthusiasm, and he stuck around from 2013-2016, the longest from any player I have talked about so far.

He has 73 receptions for 880 yards and 1 TD in the NFL. He also has eight tackles for some reason, and 3 Rushes for 51 yards. That’s an average of 17 yards. And that wasn’t all at once either. He had a 26,20 and a 5-yard run, so technically I think he’s an underrated runner. Give him the ball more!

I see a lot of scouting reports comparing him to Danny Amendola. ESPN’s Dan Kadar gave his scouting report right after he got drafted “Patton has solid size, very good speed,” Kadar said. “I’m not as high on his hands as other people. I think he lets the ball into his body too much. He’s a good route runner, though. He’s sudden in his moves. He’s a 2nd round player. I don’t think he slips out of the top 64.”

This is from Miner Nation, the 49ers fan site. (https://www.ninersnation.com/2013/4/27/4275398/49ers-draft-picks-quinton-patton-scouting-report) I think it highlights his play well. I think he’ll be a very solid slot receiver with plus speed. I think his crisp route running will give him a lot of opportunities in the middle of the field. I think he might have a better comparison to another former Patriots receiver: Wes Welker, but with better athleticism and not as good hands.

 

L’Damian Washington

L’Damian Washington has had a really, really, really long journey to get to the AAF. He’s been released from 7 teams, retired,  unretired joined the call, got cut twice, and now he’s here. That’s not even talking about his personal life. The Iron just produced the first of a two-part series about him that will explain better than I can.

Check out @aafiron’s Tweet

Washington has all the physical tools to be a star receiver in the AAF, but he needs to work on his route running, and physically on the contested catches. He’s got the height, weight, and speed to develop into a favorite target of Perez. I think if he puts it all together and becomes more physical, we come le be looking at the next Mike Evans. 


Heisman Winners:1 (D2 but still counts)

National Championships: 3

All Americans: 3

Highest Draft Pick: 3rd Overall

NFL Games played: 71

NFL Passing Yards:0

NFL Rushing Yards: 2,083

NFL Receiving Yards: 1867

NFL Touchdowns: 20

NFL Tackles: 9

NFL Interceptions: 0

Players Analyzed 13/52 


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