NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is tackled by Bryan Bresee #11 of the Clemson Tigers in the first half against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Is Clemson’s Bryan Bresee a possibility for the Eagles in the first round? We started our draft previews last week with two cornerbacks, Christian Gonzalez and Joey Porter Jr. . But we know well as Eagles fans that they love to take Defensive and Offensive Linemen early in the draft. And with the Eagles potentially losing Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Linval Joseph, and Ndamukong Suh this offseason, DT could certainly be what they are looking for in the first round. 

They took Jordan Davis in the 1st round last year, and they took Milton Williams in the 3rd round two years ago. But as we saw this season, having a deep rotation on the D-Line is something the team highly values. Even if those two are primed to take a big step forward, and they bring back Hargrave, they could still be looking at DT in the draft. 

And if you are looking at DT, Bryan Bresee is the name to watch at pick 10. The Clemson product is getting major hype approaching the draft. And a great combine performance could even put him out of reach for the Eagles. But if he is there at 10, should the Eagles grab him? Is there reason to be concerned about the history of injuries? And does his athletic profile suggest greater production in the NFL than he ever had at Clemson? Here are 5 things you should know about potential Eagles draft pick Bryan Bresee. 

  • A Freak Athlete

    Imagine seeing a 6 ft 5 300lb man barreling at you with the speed of a freight train. That is Bryan Bresee. As I said, he could very well be the player who benefits the most from the combine, where he can show off his rare combination of power and speed. Which is why he came up at number 14 on Bruce Feldman’s annual College Football Freak List 

    “At 6-5, 310 pounds, Bresee jumps off the tape for NFL scouts. The former five-star was a third-team All-ACC selection (15 tackles, three TFLs) despite being limited to four games due to a torn ACL in late September. Bresee benched 435 pounds, power-cleaned 330 and deadlifted 585. He has vertical-jumped 30 inches, but the most impressive number is him clocking in the high 4.7s in the 40.” 

    And those traits make him very versatile along the line. He fits best as a DT. But he has the speed to slide over to the edge on plays. And even has some experience playing on the Nose. That flexibility is something we know the Eagles love. Not to say he will be as good as him, but there is a comparison to be made to Chris Jones with Bresee just in how versatile of a D-Lineman he can be. 

    The traits are something you can not argue with when it comes to Bresee. He is freaky athletic, and teams will hope those traits turn into bigger production in the NFL than we saw at Clemson 

  • Projects to be a Dangerous Pass Rusher

    The part of his game that will have NFL teams and fans most excited is Bresee’s ability to get after the QB. His overall production was low, due to multiple injuries and a tragedy in the family causing him to miss a lot of games over the past two years. But in those moments, he was on the field, we saw just how dangerous he can be when getting after the QB. 

    Look no further than the ACC Championship game to see the impact he can have on a game. Clemson beat the Tar Heels 39-10. And a big reason why was the Clemson pass rush. Bresee never got to the QB himself, but he racked up 5 Qb pressures. And helped push UNC QB Drake Maye into the arms of other Clemson defenders like Jerimiah Trotter Jr. The end-of-game box score does not reflect just how well Bresee played in that game. 

    And that is the story for many games Bresee played in. He didn’t get the big sacks himself. But the fact opposing teams often have to double-team him, lets his teammates feast all game long. But imagine putting him other there with Jordan Davis on one side, and Hasson Reddick or Josh Sweat on the other. You can’t double-team everyone.

  • Up and Down Road During Time at Clemson

    Bresee has not had it easy at Clemson. His first season went well enough. He played in parts of all 12 games, racked up 26 QB pressures, 6 QB hits, and 4 sacks. All of that was good enough to get him named to the Freshman All-American team, and to win the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year award. 

    But his sophomore season did not go as smoothly. It ended early when he suffered a torn ACL. He played in just 4 games that year. Which is a shame because he was on track for a pretty good year. In those 4 games, he had 10 QB pressures, 6 QB hurries, and a single sack. Despite missing 3/4ths of the year, he was still selected to the 3rd Team All-ACC team.  

    This last year was supposed to be his comeback. And in many ways it was. But a tragedy in his family, plus a Kidney Infection, caused him to miss more games. His sister sadly passed away from brain cancer during the season. He understandably missed a game to be with his family during that time. And after he returned, he would go on to miss a couple of more games while battling a kidney infection. But Bresee made it back in time to play in the ACC Championship game, and then the Orange Bowl.  

    He went through a lot during his time at Clemson. Between the injuries, and everything that happened with his sister, he never quite had the chance to really build momentum as a player. Which could explain the lack of overall production. But the traits, and the havoc he often creates even without racking up big numbers, are clearly enough to have scouts excited despite the lack of tape and production and all the games he missed. 

  • Could Improve Against the Run

    Bresee can get after the QB. Even though the sack numbers aren’t there yet, most don’t doubt they will show up in a full NFL season if he stays healthy. A bigger question is how he will play against the run. There were too many games at Clemson where he didn’t show up on the stat sheet at all. Not getting sacks is one thing if you are still getting pressures. But for a DT to get 0 tackles shows he is not doing enough against the run. And there were 3 different games where Bresee put up a goose egg in the stat sheet. His run-stop rate in 2022 was just 4.8%. In comparison, Jalen Carter’s run stop rate was 15.1%. 

    His overall traits suggest he can improve as a run defender. It has just not shown up on the field yet. He graded out poorly as a run defender in his 3 years at Clemson. Scouts think putting on some lower body strength could help. And he has the frame to still add weight and power. It is an aspect of his game that will probably improve. But it may be a work in progress at first.  

  • Lance Zierlein's Thoughts on Bresee as an NFL Prospect

    Lance Zierlein is one of the NFL’s Main guys covering the draft. Here are his thoughts on Bresee as an NFL prospect.  

    Burly but athletic interior tackle who plays with a strong desire to get past the man in front of him. Bresee rarely gets caught up in long block engagements and possesses a deep anchor to battle double teams. He operates with subtle hand fighting that helps puts pressure on blockers but currently lacks the rush sophistication and shed technique to make more plays in the backfield. If he can stay healthy and gain much-needed experience, Bresee should continue to progress at his position and become a good run defender with an ability to disrupt the pocket within his first few NFL seasons. 

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