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    Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson | NFL Draft Scouting Report

    Is Clemson DT Bryan Bresee the first-round prospect he was promised to be? As his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report details, he certainly is.

    For the better part of three years, Clemson DT Bryan Bresee has been penciled in as a first-round pick in way-too-early mock drafts. Now, with the 2023 NFL Draft fast approaching, is Bresee on track to deliver on his pedigree and go off the board in Round 1? Let’s take a closer look.

    Bryan Bresee NFL Draft Profile

    Droves of players on the recruiting trail circle the NFL as the ultimate end destination. But for Bresee, it’s hardly been an aspiration. Instead, it’s been a certainty. Bresee will reach the NFL. He’ll play and make an impact on Sundays, and more likely than not, a team will pick him very early in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Bresee was a consensus five-star recruit in the 2020 class. Not only that, but he was also a consensus top-five prospect and the No. 1 overall recruit on several boards. As a junior in high school, Bresee had 12 sacks and 36 tackles for loss. As a senior, he added on 14 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss for good measure.

    Unsurprisingly, Bresee earned Clemson’s attention — one of the most respected defensive programs in the country. That’s where he ultimately signed and where he hit the ground running on the CFB stage.

    RELATED: PFN’s 100% FREE Mock Draft Simulator

    In 2020, as a true freshman, Bresee put up four sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. In 2021, playing for his sister battling cancer, he came out at a torrid pace, logging 1.5 sacks and three TFLs in four games.

    Unfortunately for Bresee, a torn ACL would cut his 2021 season short. And 2022 brought more adversity. His sister tragically passed, and Bresee battled through more injuries — but he still managed to put up 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. Now, Bresee continues to play for her as he makes the leap to the NFL.

    • Position: Defensive Tackle
    • School: Clemson
    • Current Year: Junior
    • Height/Weight: 6’5 1/2″, 298 pounds
    • Length: 32 1/2″
    • Hand: 10 1/4″

    Bryan Bresee Scouting Report

    Most agree that Bresee belongs in the Round 1 conversation in the 2023 NFL Draft. But is he close to the draft’s premier DT prospect in Jalen Carter or closer to the group behind him? On most boards, Bresee bridges the gap, but he has the talent to ascend.

    Bresee’s Positives

    Standing around 6’5 1/2″, 298 pounds, Bresee is an incredibly explosive athlete. He generates instant acceleration off the snap and has the elite explosiveness to surge past pulling blockers. Bresee uses his elite first-step quickness to instantly get inside the torso of his opponents and drive power forward. Moreover, the Clemson DT showcases frightening closing burst when he has a free lane to the ball carrier.

    Bresee doesn’t just possess elite vertical burst. He also has elite lateral athleticism. The Clemson DT can cover massive amounts of ground with his lateral explosiveness, easily sidesteps moving blocks off the snap, and stays clean. Additionally, Bresee possesses exceptional lateral twitch, which he uses to work opponents off-balance, then capitalizes on displacement.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

    He’s an energetic mover in congested areas and can levy size-defying spins and finesse moves to leave blockers lurching. Bresee’s burst and power, in conjunction, can obliterate run plays. The Clemson DT has elite power capacity and can leverage his explosiveness and functional length into brutal knock-back power. He’s able to violently extend and plow blockers back at the point of attack and fully extends to exert maximum power.

    Going further, Bresee possesses impressive upper body torque and can generate immense amounts of force on clubs and swims. With his torque, Bresee throws down blockers in sudden, brutal bursts of energy. With his power generation, he can wrench blockers aside and clear contact early in reps. Beyond that, he can create displacement when latched with active leg drive.

    While Bresee still has room to get stronger, the Clemson DT has shown to rip down opposing anchors after acquiring leverage. He can use strong hands to latch and tug blockers off-balance. Moreover, he’s shown to widen his base, square up blockers, and rip down extended arms with force.

    Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson | NFL Draft Scouting Report
    Sep 4, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Bryan Bresee (11) and defensive end K.J. Henry (5) celebrate after a play during the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs at Bank of America Stadium. Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

    Operationally, in terms of hand usage and leverage acquisition, Bresee has bright moments as well. The Clemson DT has flashed the necessary capacity to properly sink his pads and channel his traits with positive leverage. He can also compound brisk lateral movements with violent swipes and arm-overs. He’s able to knock linemen off-balance with violent clubs, and he has a brutal forklift move with his burst and length.

    With his length, Bresee can establish anchors and leverage points, then rip free from blockers. Beyond that, he’s able to use his length to keep himself clean and maintain space. He can then surge forward to overtake runners in pursuit. On the attack, Bresee has shown to stack counters, at times initiating bull rushes and then using his arms to rip outside. Bresee has a visible understanding of angles and leverage in close quarters. Even in run defense, he effectively places his hands and feet to negate reach blocks.

    Expanding on Bresee’s strengths, the Clemson DT is a high-motor defender who plays with near-constant energy. He keeps his hands active through reps and can earn second-effort sacks with his constant drive and active usage. Additionally, Bresee has enough ankle flexion to stunt outside and pry around blocks, reducing his surface area to a degree. And with his finesse, he sustains acceleration well through moves.

    In pursuit, Bresee shines. With his twitchy corrective athleticism, length, and closing burst, he can be a menace in the backfield. He has the high-level lateral athleticism to quickly adjust tackling angles and surge into opponents. Furthermore, he has the pursuit speed and short-area acceleration to run down players from behind.

    Bresee uses his length to wrap up runners and halt forward progress. Among other things, he has a definite degree of alignment versatility. He’s proven he can play as far inside as a 0-tech and 1-tech, but some of his best reps come at 3-tech and 4i.

    Bresee’s Areas for Improvement

    Most notably, Bresee’s leverage acquisition can be inconsistent. The Clemson DT’s frame is tall and slightly high-hipped. As a result, there are instances where he can come off the snap too upright.

    Bresee’s tendency to pop up too high out of his stance can stall rushes quickly. Even after 2022, he still struggles to manage his height and acquire leverage consistently, and his base alignment drifts upright through reps. In a similar vein, Bresee’s high pad level detracts from his power generation at times. He sometimes bends at the waist when trying to drive power forward, stifling leg drive.

    Going further, Bresee has room to get stronger in his lower and upper body. Particularly in his lower body, he’s currently relatively lean. He doesn’t quite have the strength to take up space and encumber double-teams, and he occasionally has trouble breaking anchors. It doesn’t help that Bresee isn’t the most flexible player in his upper body. He’s not always able to break free when locked up, and as a pass rusher, his rushes sometimes die out when stunting outside.

    Bresee has a good hand usage arsenal for his age, but he could be more efficient and targeted with his hand usage. The Clemson DT sometimes lacks direction and can cut down on wasted motion every now and then. Additionally, Bresee has room to keep expanding his hand usage arsenal and add more counters to his game. Without elite length, his margin for error will be smaller at the next level.

    Lastly, Bresee’s motor, while strong, inexplicably fades on occasion. And while he has good pursuit speed for his size, he’s not quantifiably elite in that category.

    Current Draft Projection for Clemson DT Bryan Bresee

    Bresee was viewed as a future first-round pick coming out of high school, and he remains a potential Round 1 prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s a top-25 prospect on my board, and while he might not go in the same range as Carter, his on-film talent is worth consideration on the first night of the draft.

    The biggest variable for Bresee is his medical evaluation. He tore his ACL in 2021 and dealt with injuries again in 2022. That medical history is notable enough that, depending on his Combine screening, he could drift down the board for some teams. But at some point in Round 1, odds are high that at least one team will be willing to bank on his upside.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Class

    It’s important to note that Bresee isn’t yet a finished product, and there are some factors detracting from his ultimate ceiling. He needs to keep working on managing his leverage through reps, and his high-cut frame makes that a challenge. Additionally, while he has good size and excellent capacity, his non-elite length can hurt him, plus his lower body strength can improve.

    All this being said, however, Bresee’s searing explosiveness and lateral agility, at his size, make him a weaponized wrecking ball in the trenches. He has superb athleticism and ankle flexion, combined with high-level power capacity, violent hands, and a daunting motor, and he has the upper body torque to capitalize on his athletic gifts.

    Bresee projects as an immediate contributor in an NFL defensive line rotation. Particularly as a pass rusher, he can be a menace at 3-tech and a disruptor in the run game as well — with the alignment versatility to fit into hybrid fronts and develop into an impact starter.

    Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Bryan Bresee

    Strengths: Large, athletic DT who takes over games. Quick, explosive, and shows a lot of athleticism. Knocks blockers back with violent hand punch or splits double-team blocks to collapse the pocket. Agile for a big man, slides down the line of scrimmage, and nicely redirects to make the tackle.

    Keeps his feet moving, works his hands throughout the action, and displays a variety of moves. Fluid if asked to twist or stunt and moves incredibly well for his size. Powerful, bull rushes opponents off the line, and occupies gaps. Fights hard throughout the action.

    Weaknesses: Must do a better job keeping his knees bent and consistently play with leverage as he gets tall. Doesn’t make plays in pursuit.

    Overall: Bresee turned in a phenomenal freshman campaign in 2021, when he was a one-man wrecking crew up front for Clemson. He struggled through injury as well as personal tragedy last year, dealing with a kidney infection and the death of his younger sister from cancer. Bresee possesses a tremendous amount of upside potential as well as scheme versatility, yet he must do a better job bending his knees and playing with leverage.

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