Boston College Senior
40: 4.56 (Campus)
PROS: Has good hands and goes after the ball. Has nice concentration and has good body control, adjusting to the throw in the air. Secures ball after the catch and occasionally will flash some shiftiness in the open field. Works well in the slot. Is a capable route-runner that is good on the slants.
CONS: Lacks ideal size and can be a bit tentative about contact. Lacks burst to separate and the speed to consistently challenge downfield. Not great after the catch due to the lacking first step.
OVERVIEW: Gunnell is a fairly polished receiver that lacks the physical tools that make scouts drool. But he was a reliable, and productive player at BC including being the go-to receiver during Matt Ryan's senior year. Is the career leader at BC in receiving yards (2459). Has averaged 58 catches, 787 yards, and 6 TDs the past three years as a starter. Also averaged 11.6 yards on 27 career punt returns.
NFL FORECAST: He's one of those types of players that is overlooked by scouts, but somehow manages to develop into a good pro. I'm not going to predict him becoming a starter, but wouldn't surprise me if he does become a nice complementary receiver. His route-running is good enough that he should be able to compete right away in the NFL. Despite lacking ideal size and speed, I think he'll stick around away because of how much more polished he is that more talented players and draft picks are as rookies. If he can stick on special teams right away, then he stands a very good chance of endearing himself to a coaching staff. Considering his attention to detail as a receiver, I suspect he would also show it on special teams. He would work best as a slot receiver and playing opposite a guy that draws double teams. I could easily see him spending a few years on the bench somewhere developing a nice rapport with a young quarterback, and then when that passer is elevated up the depth chart a few years down the line develop into a capable starter. He'll be a guy that has like 50-60 catches in a season as a starter, but only 1 or 2 touchdowns. He's not a playmaker, but should be a fairly reliable guy that can move the chains. And because of that I'm not expecting him to be a starter as teams will want to go with more explosive players, but I think he'll have a long NFL career as a reserve.
ATL FORECAST: Gunnell can work in Atlanta. While he would work best in the slot, his past experience working with Ryan would make him a nice security blanket. He's more reliable than Jenkins, but won't be a playmaker. He'd probably work best in Atlanta as a No. 4 guy that can come in on third downs and move the chains in a very similar manner as Marty Booker this past year. If his route-running becomes even better, in time he can develop and start to move up the depth chart. He'll be a similar player to what Jenkins and Finneran are on their good days: chain movers.
VALUE: Because of his lack of upside and the likelihood he'll be just a No. 4 guy on the next level, I would probably wait until the fifth or sixth round to draft Gunnell.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BODY CONTROL: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.