I'm thinking that Gentry may not make it to the practice squad, if the team tries to stash him there... Braverman had a lot of hype last year, but no one ever saw it outside of practice, and there wasn't quite as much buzz.... Gentry is reportedly making plays no matter what defensive unit he's lined up against, and there has been actual film clips from camp of him making those plays.... I'd add, even in an extremely limited showing last Thursday vs Denver (where he registered a single catch that I saw), he still has shown more on an actual field than Braverman has. Finally, the biggest difference maker to me, is that while last year people where saying Braverman might have a roster spot, I've seen some reports claiming Gentry to be our best actual receiver over the course of camp.... Like Trubisky, Gentry I think is a priority player that we need to see move up the depth chart in preseason in order to get some film vs higher level competition.
The reason people are getting smaller and faster is because the majority of colleges are trending towards spread/uptempo/read option style offenses, and those end up being the kind of players most valuable to that system... College ball is still the NFL's primary source of players, so it stands to reason that college trends are going to impact the NFL game, even if it's only via the type of players college ball is selecting. More specifically, the one big trend I think is happening is mobile QBs. Now granted, in the NFL the QBs themselves won't be used as primary runners for health/longevity reasons, but more and more the league is drifting away from "statue" pocket only QBs.... which in turn can force a defense to waste a defender purely to spy on the QB, which in turn even further opens up the passing game by reducing people in coverage. If I had to pick a second trend I've noticed, it's "tweener" "TE"/WR guys (who are basically used entirely like jumbo WRs)... You're seeing bigger and bigger dudes with the athleticism to get downfield, but also with the size to be major blocking mismatches vs corners/safeties on the edges. A bit ironic that one of the smallest positions on the field in WR, is probably the only one to see people get bigger.