A Scouting Profile Of 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Taven Bryan.
As previewed in my last two draft profiles, I noted that the Lions have a huge need to fill in the 2018 off-season at the defensive tackle position. While Hurst is more of a gap shooting 3-tech and Vea is a stronger interior defensive tackle, Taven Bryan captures elements of both. He plays bigger than his 6’4, 291 lbs build suggests and also has the agility and finesse to bend well as a pass rusher.
Taven Bryan Pass Rushing Showcases His Athleticism
Bryan may be one of the bigger “boom-bust” prospects in this class. While his build is a little lighter at this point, he has shown immense strength on film, which is far more important. One of the best double-team beaters in this class. His athleticism really shows up when facing double teams.
This play against Texas A&M was one of his best all season. He has great get off on the snap and gets skinny right away. He reaches through to the inside of each lineman and pulls himself through both of them for the sack. He is very disruptive pass rushing from the 3′ defensive tackle position. He has nice bend and closing burst that help him excel in this area, especially on stunts.
Against Kentucky, Bryan displays that really nice bend and closing burst. He sets up the play with a club and rip combination to free himself of the left guard. He continues to drive to the quarterback as he bends inside for the sack. While his pass rushing skill set is not advanced at this stage, he does have a couple moves he does at a high level like this club-rip.
Bryan’s Strength Shows Up Against The Run
These two plays helps helps illustrate how explosive and disruptive he can be against the run. His short area burst and strength show up big here. He stacks and sheds incredible well. Bryan consistently uses good leverage too, which helps him blow this run up on this well executed stunt on the top clip above.
On the second run, Bryan absolutely mauls Florida State’s left guard here. He keeps his pad level low, allowing him to set his shoulder pads under the offensive lineman. He keeps driving his legs, moving the guard all that way back into the running back for the tackle for a loss. Firing out of his stance low and staying low was what allowed him to keep leverage and was essential to the success of this play.
How Would Taven Bryan Fit In Detroit?
Taven Bryan would likely compete for the 3′ spot right away in Detroit if the Lions were to select him this spring. However, he has shown the strength and technique to consistently beat double teams. He has shown a great motor and his athleticism would help him be moved around quite a bit. Which is coveted trait by a Lions team that has collected many versatile players in Bob Quinn;s two years as general manager.
However, his pass rushing skills are quite unrefined. His athleticism worked well in college, but the athletic gap is substantially smaller in the NFL. Bryan will have to refine his hand fighting skills and needs to develop a counter when stalled. But his great strength, speed, and heavy hands should give the defensive staff plenty to work with, if they believe he can be coached up. While Bryan certainly comes with risk, he has the athletic potential to be top-5 at his position someday soon if he can put it all together.