Brian Price – UCLA
Scout: David Syvertsen
NFL Potential: Anthony McFarland – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pass Rush/Closing Ability/Moves and Counter Moves: Exceptional pass rusher that gets off the ball with top tier explosion. Has a wide array of moves that are developed and NFL ready. 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons.
Pursuit/Lateral Movement and Agility: Relentless motor that is constantly hustling towards the action. Has a hard time staying on his feet once in the backfield, lack of balance and stiff hips even for a defensive lineman. Can run well within the tackle box and trip up a back from behind.
Quickness/Explosion: Gets off the ball as quick as anyone. Can shoot a gap and be in the blocker’s body before he is even set up to deliver a blow.
Run Defend/Recognition: Flows to the action well and is often found in or near the play. Will shoot the gaps and alter the lane of a running back. Does get locked on to if the intitial explosion off the snap isn’t there. Not a stout run defender that eats up blocks or space, rather a penetrator that can make plays in the backfield. Over 22 tackles for loss in 2009 alone.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Has a low center of gravity, thus giving him the initial leverage advantage. Very big and powerful upper body that is NFL ready. Needs to strengthen his base. His issues in the trenches mainly stem from a weak lower half, doesn’t get enough push from his legs and rear.
Strength/Ability to Shed Blocks: Incredibly strong up top, but does not have balanced strength through his lower half. Sheds blocks as a result of getting an explosive jump off the snap but when he doesn’t start with the initial positional advantage, he get locked on to and is kept out of the play. Does not shed a block well when engaged head up on a lineman.
Tackling: Savvy when he breaks in to the backfield. Times his pursuit well and can easily take a runner down by himself. Shows good form and attacks the waist of a running back. Wraps up well and doesn’t let go.
Technique/Hand Use/Leverage: Does not play low enough on a consistent basis. Back does not remain straight. Shows too much of his chest to a blocker, making for an easy target to get locked on to. Loses balance when he tries to stay low. Hands are active and strong as they are used for the final blow tog et off a block when he gets by the blocker. Needs overall technique work, as his explosion and quickness can only do so much at the next level.
Versatility: Has experience as a nose tackle, under tackle, and defensive end. Can be moved around because of his athleticism. More of a gap shooter than a stay at home guy.
Final Word: Price did not surprise many by coming out a year early. He had a monster year in 2009, winning the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award. He is a penetrating force that disrupts both the passing and rushing games because of his consistent ability to break in to the backfield in a blink. There are a lot of these players however that fail to make it big in the NFL because the power game in the trenches is still a vital component. Price needs to strengthen his lower half so that he can hold up against the more physical blockers and play with a better sense of leverage. If he can do that over the early years of his career, he has the ability to evolve in to a top flight defensive tackle at the next level. He will be sought after towards the second half of the first round, mainly by teams looking for a penetrating presence along the interior of their defensive line.