Saturday, 17 April 2010

Brian Price, DT, UCLA Scouting Report

By Kyle Rota

Name: Brian Price
School: UCLA
Position: DT
Height: 6011 V
Weight: 303 V

Athletic Ability:
Price is a very good athlete for a defensive tackle who looks and plays even bigger than his listed 295lbs (post-combine edit: 303lbs). He shoots off the line of scrimmage very well, can run around guards when the opportunity presents itself, and even looked adequate as a defensive end when UCLA moved him outside. The only thing he cannot do, and the only reason he isn’t a 7.0 here, is that Price is not a pretty looking runner after a few yards and lacks the pure speed to pursue downfield – of course, that’s a minor flaw when most defensive tackles run less than 10 yards on any given snap. 6.5

Play vs Run: Price is a very solid run defender. Price, unlike many smaller tackles, does not get blown backwards on single blocks – though he will give up a lot of ground when double teamed. Even if he did give up position on some runs and is prone to overpursuit, Price would still get a solid grade because his athleticism and strength allow him to blow up plays in the backfield on a surprisingly consistent basis. Price may struggle a bit against the strongest OL, but overall I expect Price to be asset against the run, whether he is blowing a play up or just maintaining his gap. 6.5

Pass Rush: Price can provide big plays in the passing game due to his athleticism. His burst off the line of scrimmage is, as discussed, very good. He also shows very good feet for a bigger player and can turn the corner on even athletic OGs if they do not get their hands into him. He constantly made big plays in the games I watched, forcing bad throws or notching sacks. However, Price would be an even more fearsome pass rusher if he developed some more moves – there is a halfway decent spin that he doesn’t use much, and a rip move that worked occasionally, but too often Price tries to rely on his athletic gifts and forgets his hands and feet, or tries to outmuscle opponents, which won’t work in the NFL. If Price has the work ethic to work on his technique, he could turn this into a 7.0, but for now it will sit at “good”, not great. 6.0

POA: Price has the strength to hold his ground on most blocks, but can be overpowered consistently with double teams, as should be expected. 6.0

Quickness off Snap: Price is exceptionally quick off the snap and is constantly able to get position on his man, which combined with good overall strength helps Price make plays against the run and pass. 7.0

Pursuit: Price is not a pretty runner, and tends to stop pursuing a play after about 10 yards, but he will chase down screens and chase the QB on rollouts (actually does that very well). 6.0

Tackling: Price is not a great form tackler and doesn’t seem to explode into quarterbacks, but he usually gets the job done. 6.0

Play Strength: Price isn’t particularly big for his position, but he has very good playing strength that allows him to power through blocks. 6.0

Run/Pass Recognition: Very susceptible to biting on play action. This is one area where I’d really like to see him improve, because he does a good job locating the ball on runs but can really bite hard on trickery. 5.5

Hand Technique: Price is very raw with his hands usage, primarily because he hasn’t had to learn much technique to be the best player on a good UCLA defense. However, in the NFL it is very difficult to rely just on athletic gifts, so Price will need to improve this to make the jump from effective to great. 5.5

Hitting: Price is more of a drag-down tackler, though he will clobber a QB if given the chance. He has the size and athleticism to be more effective here, but, like much of his game, he hasn’t put it together yet. 5.5

Every game I saw, Price made an impact. While down-to-down consistency is not great, Price came up with big plays multiple times each game. 6.0 (could improve with greater effort)

Leverage: Price generally plays with decent leverage, but will play upright occasionally. While I doubt it will ever be great, I expect Price will be alright here. 6.5

Errors/Flags: Price makes mental mistakes (discussed earlier) but he doesn’t make those incredibly dumb plays that fans hate, and caused some flags for the OL in the games scouted. 6.5

Summary: I really wanted to like Brian Price, he was a great player in college. To some extent, I do like Price. Usually a player who is both athletic and productive works out in the NFL, and I think Price will start in this league eventually. However, there are two big worries I have. The first has been discussed in this report already: Price is very, very raw for someone so productive. A classic case of a guy who relies on his athletic ability to make plays in college. Those guys exist in the NFL, but they’re pretty rare, usually it takes more, and Price will need to show that he has the work ethic and smarts to improve here. I also have major durability/stamina concerns with Price that just didn’t fit onto the report. Price left the game injured 3 of the 4 games I scouted (left USC twice) and while he gets points for having the toughness to come back and play well, I’m very concerned that he was hurt in practically every game I watched – that just doesn’t happen. He also is off the field regularly, possibly due to stamina issues: Price is pretty sloppily built (large middle allows OL to get their hands in) but he may need that extra weight to anchor and he IS a DT, so I’m not terribly worried. Between the stamina/health issues, the poor technique, and the limited strength I feel like Price is a prospect who should be chosen late in the first round.

Final Grade: 6.4

Edit: This report was written before the combine, and since the report was written Price has had a very poor offseason. I still believe he has the talent to be an NFL starter, but to hear his build compared (negatively) to Terrance Cody is quite worrisome. Unfortunately, I do not have the resources or connections to get truly accurate information on Price’s work ethic, but given the stamina/health/build issues raised, I would need to hear glowing reports from the UCLA staff to draft Price before the late second round. (The 6.4 grade does not take this into consideration, as my concerns could all be overblown - I try to keep the numerical grade based on what he shows on film, as much as possible)

1 comment:

Kip Earlywine said...

I think these grades are fair, and its starting to look like Price will be a 2nd round pick. Its weird to see a player so productive, young, and talented fall this far, but Price has a... um... toxic (for his draft stock) combination of maxed out frame, undeveloped skills, low rep count (although this doesn't bother the Hawks much I'd guess), and a mediocre at best run up to the draft.

I used to LOVE Price, and I still like him a lot, but the turning point for me was when I started noticing that his pass rush style is the kind that is best suited for a 4-3 1 tech, which is a position Price has 0 chance of ever playing. He could still become a dominant 3, but he's risky because you'd be banking on his developing skills and players that develop significant skills after college are uncommon.