Beau Brade’s Draft Profile | Maryland, S Scouting Report

The latest NFL DB prospect from the University of Maryland, what does Beau Brade's 2024 NFL Draft scouting report say about his upside?

Maryland’s Beau Brade is one of the most physical defenders in the 2024 NFL Draft, but does he have the scouting report to be a true Swiss Army Knife in the secondary at the NFL level? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Beau Brade’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’11 3/4″
  • Weight: 208
  • Length: 31″
  • Wingspan: 77″
  • Hand: 10 1/8″
  • Position: Safety
  • School: Maryland
  • Current Year: Senior

Brade hails from humble beginnings. The do-it-all safety was originally tabbed as a consensus three-star recruit from River Hill High School in Clarksville, Maryland — just west of Baltimore.

Brade didn’t even earn a spot on Rivals’ safety rankings while ranking 31st on ESPN and 57th on 247Sports. He was ranked in the 20s and 30s in the state of Maryland.

Brade received offers from the Army and Air Force academies. He also received offers from Michigan, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Rutgers. However, Brade ultimately decided to stay close to home at the University of Maryland.

Following in the footsteps of NFL defensive backs like Darnell Savage and Nick Cross, Brade grew to be a comparable — if not better — prospect.

In his first year as a full-time starter in 2022, playing in the same secondary as first-round pick Deonte Banks and Jakorian Bennett, Brade amassed 85 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.

In 2023, Brade led the Terrapins with 75 tackles and added four more TFLs, another pick, six pass deflections, and a final forced fumble to his career totals. That production earned him a Senior Bowl invite, where he played alongside other top prospects.

Brade’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Rocked-up safety with good length, play strength, and twitched-up energy as a mover.
  • Has long-track great explosiveness when triggering to the boundaries in support.
  • Active pre-snap communicator who executes coverage rotations or mans the box.
  • Can plant and drive on slot digs from two-high, using energetic acceleration to close.
  • Flashes stellar reaction-to-stimulus, plant-and-drive efficiency, and closing speed.
  • Adaptable zone defender with the twitch and swivel freedom to reset his alignment.
  • Follows the QB’s eyes in zone, and is quick to identify crossing and vertical threats.
  • Layers his corrective twitch and fluidity to match WRs in space and keep hip leverage.
  • Can gather TEs and slot WRs with precise targeted jams in off-man coverage.
  • Shows glimpses of playmaking instinct, coordinating extensions, and playing the ball.
  • Flows through congestion while staying square to plays and limiting space upfield.
  • Squares up runners in space and can use his hyperactive twitch to offset blockers.
  • Bodies opponents on crack-and-replace blocks with ruthless bouts of physicality.
  • Can forcefully engage and deconstruct blocks while erasing angles at full speed.
  • Absolute competitor who relishes the chance to project his tenacity on opponents.

Weaknesses

  • Speed is more potent in the short and intermediate ranges than on the vertical plane.
  • Doesn’t quite have elite hip fluidity or sinking ability when undergoing field transitions.
  • Sometimes experiences slight hitches when stacking kick-slides off his pedal.
  • Slight stiffness sometimes inhibits his initial explosiveness when diverting vertically.
  • Overlapping routes can induce wasted foot motion and delayed reactions in zone.
  • At times, plays too tall on his pedal, with segmented footwork, which can delay breaks.
  • Tall play style with pedals and slides can negate his base and stall explosive load.
  • Sometimes prematurely turns his hips in single-high, leaving vertical threats untested.
  • Is prone to occasional lapses in eye discipline in coverage, getting tunnel vision on receivers.
  • Can lose balance on hip-leverage transitions, forcing gather steps ahead of breaks.
  • On occasion, overcommits on play-action fakes, vacating depth, and leaving space open.
  • Is sometimes overreliant on extraneous physicality when matching WRs at stems.
  • Sometimes overruns tackling angles and plays too uncontrolled to properly wrap up.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Brade grades out as a top-64 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. For teams needing a strong safety with coverage and support versatility, he’s worthy of mid-Day 2 consideration. Late on Day 2, or if he slips to Day 3, he’d be an exceptional value acquisition.

Brade was productive at a school that’s known for producing NFL DBs, but that’s far from the only reason to be excited about what he brings to the table. His NFL-translatable skills are clear on tape — most of all, his biting physicality and support value.

Blocks don’t scare Brade, and neither does congestion. He’s an explosive, confident closer coming downhill, who can square up and combat extensions, sear around second-level blockers with speed, and wrap up at the tackle point with force and authority.

In coverage, Brade has a similar kind of universal utility. He doesn’t quite have the versatility to play press-man and off-man in the slot consistently, but he has superb instincts as a split safety. He can square up routes, pass off and carry in zone, and click-and-close on in-breakers.

While Brade did rotate back to single-high at times in college, he likely projects best purely as a split safety in the NFL, who can also play off-man against TEs in the slot, or loom in the box and cover the flats.

Nevertheless, in that role, Brade has impact starter upside with his physicality, processing ability, explosive athleticism, and playmaking chops — and he has a high floor right out of the gate as an enforcer with every-down utility.

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