DE Austin Bryant, Clemson

6’4” – 271 lbs. – N/A

Rotated into the defense over nine games as a freshman and seven as a sophomore, totaling a combined 35-6.5-4.0 over 2015 and 2016. Became a full-time starter in 2017, posting 50-15.5-8.5 and following that up with 42-14.0-8.5 over the subsequent two seasons. Tall, well-built, and long-limbed defensive end who typically lines up on the left side of the line, rushing out of different stances. Long-strider who can cover a lot of ground as a pass-rusher, but whose movements can look a little bit stilted at times. Often goes with a bull-rush approach, in which he gets good extension with his arms and flashes the ability to walk opposing linemen back when he gets his legs churning. Uses his length and big hands to contest passing lanes, although he has just three career passes defensed. Reasonable athlete who looks pretty fast in a straight line and has some closing speed. Not as much of a traditional speed-rusher who’s going to win the edge, dip his shoulder, and bend back toward the quarterback. Would like to see a more creative pass-rush approach with better hand-use and some variety; lacks the type of sophistication that his sack numbers would seem to indicate. As in the passing game, size and length are his primary attributes in the run game. Gets extension, can anchor at the line of scrimmage, and flows well to defend lateral rushing attempts. Plays with patience when defending the backside or being made the read-man. Flashes the heavy hands to shed blocks and make tackles, but isn’t as consistent about making use of his hands as you would like. Also has to improve his overall coordination and body control further to maximize his physical and athletic ability. Wasn’t really asked to drop into coverage during the games reviewed and may be more of a pure rushing option. A big, long-limbed, physically-developed defensive end who gives good effort on a snap-to-snap basis and who flashes the ability to overpower opposing right tackles with his bull-rush, but who doesn’t have the type of advanced pass-rushing approach expected, and whose uncoordinated and somewhat clumsy body control gives a stilted quality to his game. Strengths will be intriguing enough to a team to convince them that he’s worth working with, but weaknesses may prevent him from making an immediate impact.

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