The Denver Broncos interviewed 4 prospects at the Senior Bowl on January 26th. To be more specific, they were seen during the practice week leading up to the game. Anyway, in the upcoming days and weeks leading up to the Scouting Combine and ultimately, the NFL Draft, we will be taking a look at those prospects, plus the players who have been Mocked to the Broncos and also some of the need-based kids who are ranked around where our favorite team is scheduled to select their picks.
Today we will look at Ryan Swope, a Wide Receiver out of Texas A&M. Ryan is a 6’0", 204 lb, 4th round projection who is ranked 116 overall and 16th among the nation’s Wide Receiver prospects in 2013. His pre-Combine 40 Time is listed as 4.53 seconds.
In his 4 seasons at A&M, Swope began as a Special Teamer who came on late in his freshman year. As a sophomore in 2010, Ryan broke Rod Bernstine’s long-standing school record for receptions in a season. His junior campaign was the greatest receiving season in school history with 89 catches for 1,207 yards and 11 TDs, earning him second-team All-Big 12 honors. At that point, Ryan could have made the jump to the NFL, but he decided to return for another year as the Aggies merged into the SEC. Last season Swope caught another 72 balls for 913 yards and 8 Touchdowns
As the Aggies' leading slot receiver, he was a major target for quarterbacks Jerrod Johnson and Ryan Tannehill on third down. Ryan became the school’s all-time leading receiver last November after an 11 catch, 111 yard performance against Alabama.
NFL.COM DRAFT PROFILE
GRADE - 67.4
Swope isn't a flashy athlete but he's a terrific football player. He possesses the ideal build for a slot receiver in today's NFL and is an accomplished route-runner with sticky hands.
He does not possess the elite speed to run away from defenders with the consistency that his big plays last season might lead one to believe but isn't just a safety outlet, either. With the Aggies introducing a new quarterback this season it will be difficult for Swope to match the production he had a season ago with Tannehill.
Regardless of his statistics in 2012, Swope has already demonstrated the toughness and consistency NFL scouts are looking for. Don't be surprised when he earns a top 100 selection and winds up enjoying a more successful NFL career than some of the elite athletes selected ahead of him.--Rob Rang
Scouting Report/Player Notes
Swope is one of the best wide receivers in Texas A&M history. His success as a junior is well-documented, catching 89 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. Swope’s sure hands and deceptive quickness have paved the way for Jordy Nelson comparisons, though he’s not quite as productive as Nelson was at Kansas State. He is a good, reliable route runner who plays with toughness and has an edge to his game. Perhaps the better overall game comparison is that of Jordy Nelson, but certainly Swope looks like a player who can make an impact at the NFL level.
Thoughts (from 2011)
Ryan Swope is not your typical slot WR, his potential is better. He’s built like a running back. He possess good speed to get down the field and he is really good with the ball in his hands. Swope also breaks arm tackles. Swope was recruited out of high school as a running back and it’s been a process for him to transition to the WR position for the Aggies and he is still raw as a route runner and has a ways to go if he’s going to be a slot wr in the N.F.L. Swope will probably play the slot in the N.F.L, but I think he has the potential to make a lot more plays down the field than the Steve Smith, Wes Welker players of the league.
The Football Expert (November, 2012)
Strengths: Good hands. Good leader on the field. Playmaker, very lethal with the football in his hands. Good route runner. Deceptive speed. Quick and has good acceleration. 2 solid years of starting and producing (also played as a true freshman but mainly in a backup role). Desire and effort. Will do whatever it takes to win. Toughness. Decent blocker.
Weaknesses: Is he a slot receiver only? Doesn’t have ideal size. Isn’t putting up the same numbers he did last year.
Summary: Ryan Swope really stood out last year for the Texas A&M Aggies. I remember noticing him on film while I was scouting Ryan Tannehill and thinking ‘wow this kid is pretty good’. Even though his numbers are little down this year, my opinion on him has not changed. I really like what I have seen so far out of Swope. He’s got terrific hands, he’s a great route runner, polished, good speed, he’s quick, tough, I could go on and on about him; there’s a lot to like. One important I see when I watch film on him is the desire I see in his play. That’s a leader to me, one who will give 100% every play and leads by example. Although, Swope hasn’t produced the type of numbers he did last year, I believe his stock is on the rise. His past production and his ability to quickly learn a new offense and still be a weapon is impressive. So far, based on what I have seen on him, I have a 2nd round grade on Ryan Swope but look for his stock to continue to rise as we get closer to April.
Draft Projection: 2nd round
Beyond The Combine
Effective over the middle (not afraid to go across the middle)
Knows how to drop pads and hips when going into breaks
Plays with toughness
Polished route running
Great football awareness
Very good at finding soft spots against zone
Hangs on to the ball after taking hits after the catch
Isn’t afraid to be aggressive with DBs
Exceptional in the short passing game
Polished fundamentally at the position
Exceptional running routes with double moves
Good at shaking DBs off coverage when branching during routes
Great awareness of the situation and where he is on the field
Lacks the consistent big play capability with the ball in space
Straight line speed isn’t as good as you would like to see out of a WR
Running ability isn’t great after catch
Didn’t see him challenged much at the line by DBs
Don’t expect to see Swope drafted as early as some of the other WR prospects due to his lack of not looking as attractive on paper as those prospects ranked ahead of him. Swope has the tools to remain on any team’s roster for a long time. I admire his witty route running. He has the knowledge and fundamentals to throw DBs off of his routes when breaking off his routes by sticking one way then breaking in the opposite direction. Not only is he a polished route runner he has great hands and reels in balls if they are within his reach. I am not sure that Swope can be effective at all ranges of the passing game, but I do believe he can be a very effective possession WR in this league who occasionally makes the big plays, and rarely makes mistakes. That being said, don’t be surprised if Swope has as long and as productive of a career as any WR in this draft.
Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope represents one potential fit should the Patriots decide to target a slot wide receiver in the NFL Draft next April. Swope would represent a bigger (6’0", 205 pounds), faster (projected 4.50-4.55 40-yard dash time), and younger option than Welker.
Swope’s impressive build allows him to run with a surprising amount of power for a wide receiver; he also demonstrates a fearlessness over the middle and a willingness to fight for extra yardage after contact. For this reason the Aggies have even utilized the former high school running back on a handful of reverses over his career. Swope has reliable hands and can adjust to balls thrown away from his body. His savvy allows him to ward off press coverage in order to get open, and Swope is agile enough to create enough separation to make the catch.
WalterFootball’s Charlie Campbell writes in his 2012 Preview :
Skill-Set Summary: If you like Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, then you probably will like Swope. They have a similar style and are tough on defensive backs with their quickness. Swope has decent size, but his underrated speed makes him extremely swift in and out of his breaks. His sudden quickness takes defenses by surprise. He is very dangerous after he makes a catch and is capable of taking short passes downfield for big gains. He had a number of long touchdown catches, so he has deep speed to burn secondaries.
An underrated prospect, Swope could be a nice complementary receiver in the NFL. He has starting potential as a No. 2 receiver and should be an effective wideout at the next level. Another pro comparison that some make for Swope is Wes Welker. Swope could be a slot receiver in the NFL.
2013 Draft Expectations: Entering his senior year, Swope looks like a second-day pick. With a season comparable to 2011, he could be a second-rounder. If his production declines, he could fall to the third round, but he shouldn't go lower than that. He has a good skill set and is a polished receiver.
NFL Draft risers, sliders: Week 11 - Sports Illustrated
Swope entered the season as a possibly late-round selection but elevated his draft grade even prior to the contest against Alabama. His dominant performance during A&M's 29-24 victory over the top-ranked Tide will force scouts to continue to re-evaluate their opinion of Swope. The senior finished the day with 11 receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown. More impressively, Swope came through in the clutch, making spectacular catches during the game's critical moments, including two receptions in the fourth quarter, which moved the Aggies into scoring position. Swope lacks the speed to be used as a vertical receiver, but he plays smart, tough football and offers reliable hands. His game is similar to Broncos receiver Eric Decker and Swope could end up a third-round pick, just like Decker.
Swope also met with the Baltimore Ravens during the Senior Bowl.
NFLDraft Scout profile
Ryan Swope vs Northwestern/Baylor 2011
Ryan Swope huge block for Manziel
Another slot prospect that has drawn comparison as varied as Wes Welker, Jordy Nelson and Eric Decker. Those are some pretty good players to pattern your game after. I like this guy as a 3rd round pick for the Broncos, if they choose to go that route. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a need at that point, but the value is there if they decide to pull the trigger. To say Swope is a lock at 92 for Denver would be an exercise in futility however, as the Draft is as fickle as the weather in Colorado.
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