Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Brian Price under the radar?

A lot of attention has rightfully been paid to the two excellent defensive tackles in this draft class - Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) and Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma). But I had an email this week from a reader called Bill who asked about UCLA's Brian Price, another DT who's been receiving a lot of praise recently. So far I've not had the opportunity to properly get a look at any Bruins games this year, but Kevin Wiedl from ESPN's Draft Blog was impressed when Price took the field against Arizona State on Saturday:

"Price was very strong on the inside, anticipating the snap well, staying low and playing with good leverage and showing an explosive punch. He also anchored well against double-teams and showed good endurance.

Two plays in particular stood out. The first was a second-quarter sack on which Price used a great spin move and closed quickly on the quarterback, and the second was later in the quarter when he did a great job using his hands to disengage from the blocker then found the quarterback and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

Overall, Price finished with six tackles (4.0 TFL), a forced fumble, a fumble recover, an interception and two pass breakups. He has impressive hands and the ability to collapse the pocket as a pass rusher, and while he might not be suited to play the nose in a 3-4 scheme he can certainly make a difference as a one-gap penetrator in a four-man front.

That ability to contribute in many ways along with his size and strength could make Price a late-first or early-second round pick if he chooses to jump to the NFL, and given the way injuries have affected the depth of the defensive tackle class you have to believe he is considering it." - Kevin Wiedl, Scouts Inc


1stHill said...

I have seen Brian Price play a few times this year and he has been very impressive.

Here are a few notes I have on him from the games I have seen him play;

DT #92 Brian Price 6-2 295 lbs (JR) : vs. Tennessee - Very good quickness. He got 2 sacks He did not hustle after QB when QB rolled out of the pocket. Below average for a DT when in pursuit of ball carriers. He has a good swim move. He hit the QB a few different times (just a half second away from sacks). He got consistent pressure on the QB. He is good against the run. He tossed aside o-lineman of few different times to tackle ball carrier. Blew up a few running plays with his penetration into the backfield. Up to this point he looks like he could be a low 1st round pick.
vs. Kansas St - He does a great job of getting good leverage when coming out of his stance. He was held numerous times yet no holding penalties were called on the guys blocking him. He is constantly in the back field blowing up running plays and pressuring the QB. Once again he displayed his great initial quickness. He has a very effective rip move to get by offensive lineman. He does a good job of shedding blocks and getting to ball carrier. If he declares for the draft I think he will be rated as the 3rd best DT, except teams that run the 3-4 defense will probably have him as the 4th best with Terrance Cody ranked above him. He showed better hustle this week. He was able to beat a double-team to collapse the pocket. One knock on him is that he looks slow when having to chase down plays, at least slower than the average 295 lb DT. He lined up at DE a couple of times a looked good with his initial quickness. He showed a good spin move coming from the DE position which he has not shown before (at least from the 2 games I’ve scouted him).
vs. Washington - He uses his great leverage and first step to collapse the pocket.

kearly said...

I've been following Price since September, and I've been very impressed. I was under the impression he wasn't draft eligible this year. He reminds me of a skinnier Mebane (though he actually weighs 5 pounds more than Mebane did in college), they even wear the same number. Price reminds me of Mebane for a few reasons:

He looks like a bit of a hybrid 1 tech / 3 tech similar to Mebane. He's got more pass rushing skills than Mebane does though, so I think he sticks at 3 in the NFL. Price was very highly sought by Pac-10 schools out of high school and was compared to a young Warren Sapp at that time.

He sometimes looks unblockable and on some occasions even pushes double teams backwards like Mebane does.

Like Mebane he's very high effort for a DT.

Like Mebane he's the type of DT that makes a difference for his LB's.

Like Mebane he's a "playmaker" type DT that has suffered from being under the radar because he plays for a non-USC Pac-10 school.

I'm not an expert, but I've seen about 5 UCLA games this year and to my eyes, he strikes me as a more pass rush oriented Brandon Mebane.

If Price does declare for the draft and he falls to the Seahawks second pick, I'd definitely be rooting for the Seahawks to draft him, assuming DT hadn't already been addressed by that point.

bob said...

A little off topic, but what do others think of Mike Johnson (LG, Alabama)?

He's a guy I'm thinking about with our #2.

We certainly can use all the help in the trenches we can get.