Brian Price - We are not sold Yet!

[Editor Note: Zoltan and I looked into Brian Price.  He looks like he can disrupt the pass, stop the run and develop as a leader.  But we agree on one thing, we are not sold on any of this just yet.  We think other prospects exist that are ready to play. However Zoltan points out a huge weakness in the Jaguars that needs immediate attention and Brian Price may come into play. Here is his take on things] 

Jaguars GM Gene Smith said recently he is searching new players for the defensive line right off in the off-season. Although we all know DE is a much bigger need than DT for the Jaguars if we begin looking closer at the defensive Tackle position we see reasons to be concerned, here are the reasons why:

The Jaguars have not only depth concern but even the 2 starter have issues (yeah Terrance Knighton has –despite all the great thing he did for the Jaguars- concerns.) Let’s have a look to the position. Do you remember what happened when Big John Henderson missed the Miami game? Yeah the Dolphins ran over the Jaguars in the first half.  Montavius Stanley or Attiyah Ellison were there and it didn’t help the Jaguars. So if one starter going down in the middle the Jaguars are in trouble.

Another issues is Big John himself. Although DTs can play a long time in the NFL,  Big John will be 32 on opening day plus although he played well in 2009, he struggled in 2007/08. He does represent good trade value for the Jaguars-so maybe he will not be a Jaguar in 2010(although; unless we can get a second rounder back; I don’t want to see him go). John is probably safe from trade because he showed leadership values in a very young area of the defense, especially after Reggie Hayward went down.

Third, and I guess a BRAND NEW concern is Terrance Knighton’s weight! Did you see “Terrence “Mount” Cody at the Senior Bowl? Well Terrance is far from that; but Jeff Lageman and Vic Ketchman who covering Jaguars games admitting; “Pot Roast” is gained weight late in the season; and if he doesn’t care about himself in the off-season; he will represent serious weight issues for the conditioning and strength coaches in OTA’s.  We will see how professional is the maybe best pick of the blockbuster 2009 draft; when he is back in action.  This is a cause for concern.

Well luckily looks like this draft will be a blockbuster for defensive lineman; and specially in DTs. We all heard of Ndamukong Suh; or Gerald McCoy. They are not even close to the Jaguars. But there are 2 players who have their stock’s are rocketing sky high these days on the draft boards. And because all the 3 points I mentioned the Jaguars must look at and consider selecting them at the 1st round. Jared Odrick from Penn State and the subject of this piece UCLA DT Brian Price.

Price is a junior, coming out early and is 6-2 tall; 295 lbs.  During his time as a Bruin he recorded 97 tackles; 12.5 sacks; 44.5 TFLs(tackle for losses) and 1 INT. In his freshman year he played in the last 10 games of the season, with five starts. In his second year he started all of 12 games at UCLA, had 25 tackles; and 4.5 sacks and recorded his only pick of his college career. He also recorded 14 TFLs. He was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection by the league’s coaches. In 2009 he had a fantastic year. 41 tackles; 23.5 were for tackles for loss-which was the most in the Pac-10 conference; and 3rd in the entire NCAA! He had 7 sacs as well! He has received a lot of attention for that year: Named first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association and SI.com; second-team by the Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, Phil Steele and scout.com; third-team by Associated Press. He was selected Pac-10 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Pac-10. He was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (nation’s top defender) and a quarter finalist for the Lott Trophy (nation’s best defender on and off the field). Very impressive resume!

Let’s see his strength: Price made a living in opponents backfield during his time as a Bruin. Price had flown slightly under the radar before this season despite a solid sophomore season. His quick first step is the first thing you notice. He is able to routinely shoot the gap and beat his opponent. He shows pretty good hand use, but there is room for improvement. He has a nice low center of gravity. He appears to have adequate upper body strength. He has a great motor and is a vocal leader.  In short, he can disrupt the pass, stop the run and encourage good play out of his teammates.

Let’s see where he has issues. Overall, Price plays too high. He struggles to bet off blocks, and his legs often go dead when engaged by a blocker. He often takes poor angles and over-pursues plays. He leaves his feet to make a tackle. He rarely makes a play that’s not in the backfield. He lacks the speed to make plays away from him. He is not scheme diverse and is a bit of a one trick pony. Price has overall undeveloped technique. He’s not an overly terrific athlete. He lacks great feet and balance. He winds up on the ground often once he is in the backfield. Kind of like Quentin Groves.

Because of the emphasis NFL teams put on getting to the quarterback, Price should be an attractive prospect to teams beginning around the middle of the first round. He is going to be limited scheme wise, and won’t be looked at by the 3-4 teams. He reminds the experts of Warren Sapp, but not yet on the same level.

Well my view about his selection as a Jaguar: I’m not sold on him 100%. Specially if a Rolando McClain is still on the board. But if Rolando and Joe Haden are both gone, then he might have a chance because of the issues at the defensive line and because I think DTs are offering much more ready talent than DEsin the 1st round. Gene Smithis looking for fast big guys and I think he is keeping priority Number ONE to rebuild both lines. If so, drafting Price might fit into this scheme. He need a strong combine to convince me (and Gene in the 1st place) that he is a Top 10-11thprospect. If the Jaguars trading back say 3-4 spots and he is still on the board, he might be the front runner and selected as a Jaguar. Right now he is more of an insurance policy pick (with great upside) to me than the BAP in 10-11th. But time and the combine will tell if he is worth to be a 10-11th pick of the draft. 

 – Zoltan Paksa

Terry’s take:  I worry about Brian Price coming into the NFL and not having immediate success. He was successful at UCLA and seems to be a proud kid.  Sometimes the big time can take that confidence away from you.  It happens all the time. I just don’t know if Brian can make the leap into NFL stardom. Few do that.  We are not placing Brian in our big board as a good Jaguar selection just yet.

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