This post continues a series on our NFL Draft prospects. Today we're talking about Tori Gurley.
Measurements: 6'4 / 216
Career Summary: Gurley came onto the scene as a RS freshman in 2009. Early in the season, he was Stephen Garcia's first choice at wide receiver and had some impressive games. However, after Alshon Jeffery emerged against Kentucky, Gurley saw less time on the field. In 2010, we played both at the same time, but Gurley mostly fulfilled a secondary role while Jeffery emerged as a star. Although his draft status probably would have benefited from one more year in Columbia, his age (he's 24) and his mother's financial difficulties prompted him to take an early jump to the pros.
What the Pros Like: Gurley's physical measurables are very impressive for a wide receiver and likely remind pro scouts of another former South Carolina prospect, Sidney Rice. That's good company for Gurley, of course. Gurley is big, has decent speed for his size, and almost never drops the ball. His size is what makes him really stand out. His blocking skills are also a plus.
What the Pros Don't Like: Gurley is unproven. He has only around 900 total yards as a college receiver because he spent so much of his career in Jeffery's shadow. He also, while certainly not slow, does not possess elite speed for a receiver.
Are the Mocks Right?: Gurley is universally projected to be a fifth-round or later prospect. There's a slight chance he could go higher than that, but it seems unlikely to me, as scouts will go with more proven prospects in the early rounds. That said, I think there's a good chance that Gurley is a real steal as a third-day prospect. I believe strongly that Gurley could have been a 1000+ kind of guy if not for the presence of Jeffery on the roster, and he could similarly have a place in the pros as a go-to receiver if he gets into the right situation and exerts himself.