Bryan Bresee NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Clemson DL

BR NFL Scouting Department Contributor I

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 10: Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Bryan Bresee (11) during a college football game between the Furman Paladins and the Clemson Tigers on September 10, 2022, at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.  (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'5"











— Good size for an NFL defensive tackle and doesn't carry much bad weight.

— Quick reaction to the snap and has good acceleration off the ball, especially on passing downs.

— When working finesse moves as a pass-rusher, he has impressive use of hands to clear the offensive lineman's hands to start the moves.

— He is swift when hand-swiping, and he works the blocker's hands after contact, too.

— He has a nice swim move with a tight arm-over to clear the offensive lineman.

— Also showed a good rip move and the potential to develop a push-pull move down the line. He has the upper body strength to control the lineman and enough hip mobility to clear his lower half.

— As the looper in line games, he has decent agility for a tackle to avoid losing ground when working laterally.

— Solid bend as a pass-rusher.

— He ties his hands to his feet well against the run, allowing him to get his hands up fast and make contact with the offensive lineman on his first step.

— When slanting, he has the initial quickness to throw off the blocker's angles.

— Has the upper body strength to gain control of the bock along with a wide base to hold ground in one-on-ones, and he's solid against doubles.

— He's decent in anticipating a second blocker coming, turning his hips into pressure and reducing the surface area for the second blocker to hit on a double.

— With his base and impressive balance, he can absorb contact against down blocks or when slanting to keep the offensive lineman on his hip and avoid getting washed down.

— When he does keep his hands inside, he is violent and strong to shed and get off blocks.


— Has missed 13 games over the last two years with injuries and illnesses, which has stunted his development.

— Plays with high pad level and has a habit of standing up out of his stance.

— Wide hand placement invites offensive linemen into his chest and limits his extension. Might have shorter arms, too.

— Stops his feet on contact against the run.

— His pad level and wide hands diminish the effectiveness of his bull rush.

— When working a push-pull move, he needs to start the move earlier so he can get pressure. The ball is typically out by the time he wins with the move.

— Doesn't have a good pass-rush motor or plan. Doesn't throw a ton of counters and will stop rushing if his initial move doesn't work.

— Subpar tackling form, as he likes to tackle high and struggles to break down and bring ball-carries down in space, whether that's as a pass-rusher against an athletic quarterback or in pursuit as a run defender.

— Not very productive in college with 26 solo tackles (49 total) in 24 games .


— DOB: Oct. 6, 2001

— No. 14 on Bruce Feldman's list of top athletes entering the season; benches 435 lbs, power-cleans 330 lbs, dead-lifts 585 lbs; 30" vertical; 4.7 seconds in 40-yard dash

— A 5-star recruit in the 2020 class, No. 1 DT, No. 1 nationally, per 247Sports composite ranking

— Absences: 2021 torn ACL (season-ending surgery, missed nine games), 2022 kidney infection (missed two games), 2022 illness (missed one game)

— 20 career starts

— 2022 honors: second-team All-ACC, Lott IMPACT Trophy quarterfinalist

— 2021 honors: third-team All-ACC

— 2020 honors: freshman All-American (several media outlets), ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, first-team All-ACC


Bryan Bresee is an interesting projection, mainly because of how the last two years have played out.

As a freshman at Clemson, he showed a lot of promise and traits that made it easy to see why he was the No. 1 overall recruit in the country. However, like most 18- and 19-year-olds making the transition from high school, he was still raw and needed to refine his technique.

That's what these last couple of seasons were supposed to be about for Bresee, but he has missed as many games as he's played. That's prevented him from showing he can pair his physical traits with clean technique and likely made it difficult to iron out kinks in his game.

All that being said, Bresee does have the rare combination of size, strength and athleticism to suggest he'll be better and more productive as a pro. He's strong enough to hold up against the run and nimble enough to create havoc as a pass-rusher. It's just a matter of staying healthy and how long it will take him to make the transition.

Schematically, Bresee would be best as a 2i- to 3-technique for a team that uses a lot of even fronts. He's not big enough to play as a nose tackle in odd fronts and could play as a 4i- to 5-tech defensive end, but that would be pushing it athletically, so teams running that scheme might look elsewhere for defensive line help.

GRADE: 8.4 (Year 1 Starter)




Written by B/R NFL Draft Scout Matt Holder