Never Give Up
Sometimes the mountain is just too steep. All your courage, effort and willpower isn't enough, you can't make it to the summit.
Kendall's team was in deep trouble. Making the NCAA tournament was a dream come true, but her team was getting blitzed in the opening minutes, falling way behind. They couldn't even score a single point. After starting the season with only a 1-8 record, they had reeled off 6 straight victories to qualify for the NCAA field, taking advantage of an unlikely series of upsets to win their conference tournament. But now, her team looked like they were in over their heads.
Kendall was the do-it-all engine for her team, leading the squad in points, rebounds, blocks and assists. The prior season, she had been the conference player of the year. Yet, even she could do little to slow the onslaught, only scoring 2 points in the first half. Even her miracle half court bucket to end the half got waived off, as the refs determined that she didn't get the shot off in time. At half, the opponent had double up her team, scoring twice as many points. It looked hopeless. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
The deficit only increased in the 2nd half. Down by 21 points in the middle of the 3rd quarter, her team was in danger of getting blown out. Out of the blue, Kendall caught fire. She made 5 straight shots and added a couple free throws. Nailing multiple 3 pointers, she also had a spectacular floater in the lane after weaving past about 3 defenders. She was whipping passes all over the court, setting up her teammates for shots.
It wasn't enough. A desperate rally in the final minutes of the game fell short. As hard as Kendall battled under the rim, at times her opponents were just too big and strong for her to stop. In the final minute she fouled out, a critical loss as she wasn't even on the floor when the team attempted to pull off a miracle finish. The final score showed that her team had lost by 4 points, but if it weren't for her team's valiant effort, the gap easily could have been 40 points. Kendall's college basketball career was over. Six months later, one of Kendall's sisters passed away from brain cancer.
Kendall is one of Bryan Bresee's older sisters. The youngest of the 4 siblings, Ella, loved basketball. If fate had allowed, perhaps she would have followed in Kendall's footsteps. Maybe she would have played in the NCAA tournament. After experience headaches, Ella was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Scheduled to be an honorary captain for Clemson's home opener in 2022, Ella suffered a seizure the day before the game and wasn't able to participate. She died a few days later at the age of 15.
Bryan Bresee is one of the most difficult prospects in this year's draft to evaluate. In 2020 he was a talented, but raw true freshman. He was the number one overall recruit in the country per multiple rankings. In 2021, he injured his shoulder in the very first game of the season. In the 4th game of the season, he tore his ACL. He had surgery on both his knee and his shoulder. Early in the 2022 season, Bresee was diagnosed with a kidney infection, missing multiple games. Later in the season, he had strep throat and missed another game. Due to the various injuries and circumstances that impacted his 2021 and 2022 seasons, it is challenging to come up with a good game to watch to get a handle on his "true" NFL potential. In 2020, he was a raw, true freshman. In 2021 and 2022, he probably was never at full strength and peak condition, except for maybe the first part of the opening 2021 game against Georgia. So much of his evaluation requires you to imagine in your mind what he could have looked like if he had never gotten injured.
I was undecided how to grade him. On one hand, his tape isn't overly impressive, leading you to wonder if he's overrated by the experts and only placed so high because he was such a super highly regarded high school recruit. On the other hand, if you watch his entire career, I believe that Bresee was an ascending player who was only beginning to come into his own in 2021. The ACL injury sent his college career on a detour, but was that only a temporary setback? Can Bresee bounce back with a vengeance in 2023 or will he always be one of those "what might have been" players?
In January, Bucky Brooks mocked Bresee as the 6th overall selection, to the Detroit Lions. In February, Chad Reuter only mocked Bresee as the 54th overall pick. Late in February, Daniel Jeremiah said NFL teams are split on Bresee. He said that some teams like him, but other teams have told him they don't have him as a 1st round prospect, because Bresee is too stiff, not a loose athlete, and they are concerned about his injury history.
On paper, you could argue that Bresee isn't as good a prospect as Zach Allen (3rd rd 2019), so he should only be about a 3rd round pick. Allen was one of my favorite potential Rams targets in that 2019 draft. He was the very first pick in the 3rd round. Early in Allen's career, I felt like an idiot thinking that he had the potential to be a good player. He hardly played on defense as a rookie, then played about half of the team's snaps in year 2. His PFF grades were not good. In some of my comments on TST, I'd use Allen as an example of how some of my mock drafts were terrible.
In 2022, his 4th NFL season, Allen had a breakout campaign. He had career highs in sacks (5.5), TFLs (10) and QB hits (20). He was 8th in the NFL among DTs in pass rush win rate. He had a 72.7 PFF grade. In free agency, the Denver Broncos recently signed Allen to a 3 year contract with a salary of $15.25 million. In other words, he got Allen Robinson money.
Allen's arms are over 34 inches long, while Bresee has short arms. Allen is more of a fluid athlete, like a TE in the body of a defensive lineman, while Bresee doesn't have a prototypical build and has some stiffness. Allen was a bit undersized at Boston College. By 2022, he was so much better compared with his college days. It looked like he put in work in the weight room, because his play strength was better, his pad level on the field was better, he had developed into a "finished product" and was an NFL impact defender, both against the run and the pass. If Allen and Bresee were in the same draft class, I don't think it is so clear that Bresee should be ranked ahead of Allen.
On the other hand, if you compare their tapes side by side, I'd argue that Bresee is a better prospect than Sharrif Floyd from Florida. In 2013, Floyd had been projected as a top 5 overall pick, but unexpectedly slipped all the way to 23rd overall. One reason many Dallas Cowboys fans were so upset with the Travis Frederick pick was because they wanted Dallas to draft Floyd instead of trading down. Floyd's NFL career ended prematurely due to knee issues. So, if Floyd potentially could have been a top 10 pick, maybe that is where Bresee belongs.
This is more than just an academic question. Daniel Jeremiah has Bresee ranked 34th overall. Lance Zierlein has Bresee ranked 45th overall. If those 2 experts have him ranked properly, that means the Rams at pick 36 are dead center in the range where Bresee could end up being selected. The scheme fit is outstanding, Bresee is a very good match for what the Rams do on their defensive front and his versatility would allow him to potentially fill in at any of the 3 defensive line spots, an important factor, because it also allows Aaron Donald to continue to move all over the defensive front and attack wherever he prefers. If Bresee is really as good as some experts believe, he could be a candidate to step into Donald's role should AD retire in the near future.
If you view Bresee as a top 15 prospect who somehow magically landed in the lap of the Rams in the 2nd round, it would be a no brainer selection. Count your lucky stars and turn the card in. If you view Bresee as a 3rd round (or perhaps even later) prospect, then Bresee would be a reach at 36.
I might not know when Bresee will get picked or whether he will succeed in the NFL, but I'm pretty confident of one thing. If he's ever in the Super Bowl and his team is down by a score of say 28-3, Bryan Bresee isn't going to give up. That's not how Bresee kids are built.
Sealing the Deal
I was doing some research for this post, looking at SIS point rankings for NFL DTs and this is how they have 3 players graded for the 2022 season:
Jeffery Simmons 28 points
Zach Sieler 27 points
Aaron Donald 26 points
My reaction being, "Who in the world is Zach Sieler?!?" Sieler was a 7th round pick in 2018 by the Ravens, out of Ferris State. Bonus points for any of you who know where Ferris State is located. They don't play Division 1 football.
Sieler began his 2nd NFL season on the PS for the Ravens, getting called up in the middle of the year. Late in the 2019 season, the Ravens waived him and he was claimed by the Dolphins. In the middle of the following season, Miami signed him to a reasonable 2 year contract with an average salary of $3.8 million. Greg Gaines signed a $3.5 million deal with the Bucs. Okay, he's an average guy, right, about the same as Greg Gaines?
In 2020, Sieler had a whopping 11 TFLs, even though he was only a part time player. Michael Brockers in his entire career has never had more than 8 TFLs in a single season.
In 2021, Sieler had an 84.9 PFF grade playing in Miami's 3-4 scheme. Per PFF, there were only 4 DTs in 2021 who had both run defense and pass rush grades of at least 75. Aaron Donald and Cam Heyward were 2 of those players. Sieler was one of the 4.
In 2022, Sieler had a 74.7 PFF grade. He started double digit games for the first time in his career and posted career highs in tackles, QB pressures, and QB hits. Per PFR, he also had a crazy low missed tackle rate. Per SIS data, Christian Wilkins was the top ranked DT in the NFL in 2022. He was a 1st round pick in 2019 by the Dolphins. SIS stats say that Sieler, playing for the same team, had a better pass rush pressure rate over the last 2 seasons than Christian Wilkins. In essence, you could argue that the waiver claim the Dolphins made during the 2019 season was just as valuable as the 1st round draft pick they made in 2019.
On the flip side of that transaction, the Ravens "fumbled the ball" when they waived Sieler. Early in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft, they took Justin Madubuike, a DT from Texas A&M (Hmm, I wonder if Madubuike's name will come up later in this fanpost? Maybe a decent chance?) If they had just kept Sieler, they would have had a better result. So, that seemingly minor late season transaction where they waived the "practice squad guy" who was a small school player drafted in the 7th round, was as damaging as if the franchise had busted a 1st round draft pick.
Derrick Brown was the 7th overall pick in the 2020 draft. He was a fantastic prospect. Over the last 3 seasons, by a variety of metrics, Justin Sieler has been a more productive player than Brown during that period. No joke, the "waiver claim" guy from Ferris State has been as effective as a very good top 10 draft pick. Brown had an 84.4 PFF grade in 2022, so he's an excellent player. Brown was 3rd in the NFL among DTs in run stop win rate. Brown was a superstar at Auburn. Sieler was sandwiched between a fullback and a long snapper in the 7th round. There is no way those 2 players should be comparable, right? They shouldn't be in the same universe in terms of NFL effectiveness. Not so fast, my friend.
This is an example of why I say fans sometimes place too much emphasis on the draft itself. The draft is only one slice of the pie when it comes to roster building. There are many other types of moves that make up the rest of the pie and those types of transactions and decisions can be just as important as deciding who to select on draft day.
If you had asked me in the 2018 draft, the 2019 season or the 2022 season for the skinny on Zach Sieler, I would have drawn a blank. I'd have no clue who you were talking about. What's the guy's name, Zach Braff? Wait, you want us to draft the guy from "Scrubs"?
Name: Bryan Bresee (late name pronounced "bruh-ZEE"). Turns 22 years old in October. Redshirt sophomore.
School: Clemson. Studied sociology.
Measurements (Combine): 6'5 1/2'' tall, 298 pounds, 32 1/2'' arms, 10 1/4'' hands, 78 1/8''. 4.86 second (40 time), 1.71 second split, 29'' vert jump, 22 bench reps.
He had one of the smallest wingspans among the DTs at the Combine. Bresee is supposed to be a weight room monster who is freakishly strong, so I thought his bench number was slightly disappointing. Maybe max bench press for just 1 rep is different than lifting a smaller weight repeatedly. He reportedly can bench 435, power clean 330 and deadlift 585 pounds.
5 star recruit from Maryland. Consensus top 5 recruit in nation, ranked as number 1 overall recruit by multiple services. Also played basketball in HS. Had 35 sacks in HS. So highly recruited that he essentially had his pick of any school in the country, narrowed it down to Clemson and Georgia as his top 2 choices. Didn't seriously start lifting weights until he was in HS. Transformed himself from being a relatively skinny kid into a freakishly strong athlete.
One of 4 children, has 2 older sisters, Ella was his younger sister.
2020 (12 games) 33 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 4 sacks, 2 PBUs, FF
2021 (4 games) 15 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, PBU, INT
2022 (10 games) 16 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, 2 PBUs
Missed a game in 2022 after his sister passed away. Missed 2 games 2022 due to kidney infection and 1 game due to strep throat. Torn ACL in left knee in 2021. Injured right shoulder in first game of 2021, surgery on it after his knee injury. On the play he hurt his shoulder, his arm goes limp, he exits the game for treatment, but he returned later and finished the game, playing with a brace on his arm.
In interviews, he's humble, grounded, personable, professional, good sense of humor, positive mindset. Embraced a leadership role in 2021. Conversational style, can hold court for very long interview sessions covering wide range of topics, very comfortable talking to the media. Displays a good self-awareness of his weaknesses as a football player and what he needs to work on to improve. Excellent football and personal character reflected in his answers to questions.
Daniel Jeremiah (3.0 board) 34th overall
Lance Zierlein 45th overall
ESPN 2nd DT, 28th overall
CBSSports 31st overall
PFF 20th overall
NFLDB 18th overall
PFN (Industry) 11th overall
Drafttek 16th overall
Shane Hallam 19th overall
Brian Bosarge 21st overall
Buicky Brooks mocked 6th and 13th overall in his first 2 mock drafts.
Chad Reuter mocked 54th overall
Eric Edholm mocked 17th overall
Steelers Depot (Jonathan Heitritter): Freak athlete. Aligned from NT to EDGE. Impressive play strength. Aggressive tackler. Good pursuit. Effective on twists. Disruptive penetrator, can shoot gaps. Explosive. Converts speed to power. Young. Extremely raw technique. Needs more consistent hands. Panics if 1st pass rush move stalls. Needs to finish plays better. Too straight line bull rusher, needs to develop better pass rush angles. Pad level too high. Gets washed vs run. Extensive injury history. Gets winded, only able to play 2 to 3 snaps, then off the field. Wins with effort, not execution. Needs to greatly improve technique. Disappears large portions of games. High ceiling. Jerry Tillery comp. 2nd round grade. [I consider Tillery to be a draft bust. He was the 28th overall pick in 2019 by the Chargers. He played at Notre Dame. I didn't like him as a prospect, but I think some fans on TST did. The Chargers declined his 5th year option, then waived him in the middle of his 4th season. He had a 49.8 PFF grade in 2022, 46.3 grade in 2021, 43.9 in 2020 and 35.5 as a rookie in 2019. Those are terrible grades. He ranked 100th out of 127 DTs in 2022. And that was his career high grade! He might as well have been an UDFA. When I suggested that in a redraft that Taylor Rapp had a chance at potentially being a 1st round pick, players like Jerry Tillery are one of the reasons why this is the case. So, for Heitritter to offer Tillery as the comp for Bresee, I don't consider it to be a ringing endorsement. It would cause me to question why he gave Bresee a 2nd round draft grade. If he thinks Bresee is the next Tillery, why wouldn't we make him a Day 3 prospect?]
Daniel Jeremiah: Ideal height and bulk for position. Effective looper. Some shock in hands. Stalls out too often. Some hip tightness. Keeps blockers off chest, quick hands. Looked gassed at times in 2022, high snap count and coming off of injury. Flashes, but needs to be more consistent.
Lance Zierlein: 6.35 draft grade (eventual plus starter), Grover Stewart comp [Stewart was the very last pick in the compensatory section of the 4th round in 2017, taken by the Colts out of Albany State (a Div II school in Georgia). A backup for a couple of years, he became a starter in 2019. He performed so well that in the middle of his 4th season, the Colts signed him to a lucrative contract with a $10.25 million salary. Stewart was 9th among NFL DTs in run stop win rate in 2022. He had a 72.6 PFF grade in 2021 and has been over 65 each of the last 4 seasons. He had a career high 4 sacks in 2022. Stewart wasn't invited to the Combine in 2017. LZ had a 5.60 grade on him, calling him a PS player and potential day 3 pick, a raw run stuffer. The success of Stewart in the NFL is a good example of why a team shouldn't limit themselves only to prospects who played at "big name" schools, to only the players who were at the Combine or to prospects who were finished products in college with proven production. You might recall Caleb Brantley from Florida, who fell from about the 2nd to the 6th round that year due to criminal assault allegations. He was waived after one season. Solomon Thomas was the 3rd overall pick in that draft. Stewart has had a better career than Thomas. Seattle drafted Malik McDowell with the 35th overall pick. He had a myriad of off field criminal issues and only played one season in the NFL.]
Burly, athletic. Deep anchor vs double teams. Subtle hand fighting, but lacks rush sophistication and shed technique. Instinctive. Processes blocking scheme, smart hands. Defeats reach blocks. Maintains run fit vs move blockers. Stutter step pass rushes, pocket pusher. Limited college production. Sometimes loses gap leverage. Average tackling range. Linear pass rushing approach. Unable to flip hips and get skinny.
NFLDB: Amazing physical attributes, elite power and agility. Good power, consistently holds up vs double teams. Strength and balance to sit down and create pile. Explosive. Plays with leverage. Keeps eyes in backfield. Finds ball well. Can 2 gap. Good closing burst. Violent hands, wins on inside counters. Strong at POA. Outstanding lateral movement. Instinctive. Solid overall hand usage. Versatile. Plays upright, struggles with pad level and leverage. Technique to shed is not elite. Average change of direction skills. Room to improve vs run. Undersized. Rookie starter, top 15 pick.
Early entrant, about a year younger than an average prospect.
Good work ethic, leadership skills and football intangibles.
Versatile in alignment and role. Can play on 3 or 4 man front. Very dangerous as NT lined up directly over C, but played plenty of 3 tech as well as 5 tech outside of OT.
Impressive lateral quickness off the snap to cross the face of OL before they can get out of their stances and react. Able to violently attack a completely different gap than where he was lined up pre-snap and apply immediate stress on the OL to prevent penetration or distortion in the LOS.
Completely smokes interior OL some snaps, penetrating through the gap and using his arm to seal them. The combination of his powerful club move and his abnormally explosive lateral step can be too much for guards and centers to handle. Cat like quickness to cross face of center.
Lateral explosion can beat reach blocks to the landmark, disrupting wide zone runs with penetration.
Can wedge himself between offensive linemen, occupying multiple blockers and helping to keep LBs clean.
Uses his arms to pry open gaps and squeeze through them, like he's pushing open a stuck elevator door.
Unbelievable upper body strength. Some plays, simply overwhelms his opponent and throws them to the side or to the ground. Heavy hands on club can knock the OL to the ground. Heavy hands jolts RT backwards with powerful punch. Rag dolled a 3rd round NFL OT.
Solid change of direction to react and pursue the ball. Locks on with radar and accelerates to his target. Instincts to counter off of blocks and redirect himself to the ball. While engaged with the block still has good awareness of the location of the runner.
Aggressive play demeanor, hunts the ball with a predatory mindset. High energy competitor. Good motor to pursue.
Body control and balance to work DL games.
Has a nice lower center of gravity. Maybe just my imagination, but his legs seem to be a hair short relative to his torso, perhaps helping him gain leverage vs opponents.
Quick hands, can execute variety of club, rip and arm over moves.
Nice hand accuracy to shed blocks at point of attack.
Some ability to convert speed to power. Able to generate bull rush with both initial punch and leg drive.
Gets arm up to deflect passes at LOS. If he's not engaged, good quick leaping ability to jump into passing lane and try to deflect the ball.
Understands how to maintain leverage vs his blocker.
Good play recognition and reaction to horizontal screen pass.
Noticeable improvement in 2021 compared with 2020. Instinctive player, pre-snap recognition improved, looked like light bulb was coming on, making him a more consistently dangerous defender. Technique with hands improved. Pad level was better.
Undersized and injury prone. Surgeries to both upper and lower body. I don't know what the deal was with his kidneys last season.
Short arms, limited effective length on field. Doesn't fit within a specific position profile. Hips too stiff and doesn't have length to play as a 4-3 DE. Not big enough to be a classic NT (Greg Gaines at 312 pounds was a solid player for the Rams, but there were plays where he got pushed around and couldn't anchor vs double teams.) Undersized to be a 5 tech (compare him with Michael Brockers, who 322 pounds with 35'' arms at the Combine) and not as dynamic as the best 3 tech DTs. So, while Bresee has versatility to play multiple positions, can he actually start at any of them and have a "home" or is he just a rotational piece? I could see Bresee falling all the way to the 3rd round, if you look at recent NFL drafts and where various DTs got picked. Alim McNeill (3rd round 2021), for example, is arguably a better prospect, because he's a classic NT who has a clear NFL starting position. If you were a team that wanted a pure NT, why would you take Bresee over McNeill?
Unconventional body type, makes me think a bit of Cameron Heyward, but Heyward has 34 1/4'' arms and better weight distribution. Frame doesn't look like it can accommodate much more weight.
Doesn't have great lower body explosion and power. Top heavy, maybe too fixated on lifting weights with his arms and not diversified enough with his training methods. Had 29'' vertical, while Cam Heyward had a 35'' vertical jump. As a looper, doesn't smoothly transition his body weight so that he can maintain speed and forward momentum, making him a tick slow to attack the pocket. While he knows how to convert speed to power, he doesn't have elite body mass and lower body explosion. As some Rams centers and guards know all to well over the last decade, the best NFL DTs are so powerful, they can completely steamroll linemen who don't possess an elite anchor. Bresee hasn't yet proven that he can be one of those dudes.
Accuracy of hands inconsistent. Misses on swipe and chop moves, but other plays his hand usage is perfect. Limited counter moves. Gets locked up on pass rushes when he misses his initial swipe.
Inconsistent explosiveness. Play strength was better in 2020, but for most of 2022 he didn't look like the same guy.
Struggles to get off of blocks, can get glued to center and guard blocks, slow to disengage, both on run plays and pass rush attempts. When pass rushing, instead of immediately linking moves together, there will be a pause after initial engagement, like he's momentarily stuck to the blocker.
Only 15 career TFLs in 26 games in college, a rate of 0.58 TFLs per game. Relatively low for a player projected to be a 1st round pick who is considered to be a disruptive penetrating defender, living in the opponent's backfield. Christian Wilkins had a rate of 0.74. Greg Gaines had a 0.51 rate his final 3 seasons in college, and he was more of a space eating NT who wasn't much of a pass rusher, so you wouldn't expect him to have a ton of TFLs. Calijah Kancey, the small DT from Pitt, has 34.5 TFLs in 33 career games, so he has more TFLs than he has games played in college. So, the production level doesn't line up with an elite draft prospect.
Jumped offsides, which could happen more in NFL when he's trying to win immediately with quickness off the snap.
Draft Grade and Pro Comp
2nd round grade. (Matt Ioannidis, 5th round 2016, Washington Football Team, Temple)
I had a 2nd round grade on Justin Madubuike in 2020. He was drafted by the Ravens early in the 3rd round. Madubuike had phenomenal workout numbers, including 31 bench press reps with 33.5'' arms. His testing scores were nearly identical to the numbers for Geno Atkins. Madubuike was a very raw player, inconsistent on the field. He'd flash every now and then, but get demolished by double teams or run blocks on other plays.
In 2022, Madubuike made 16 starts, had 5.5 sacks and a 63.6 PFF grade. He's a starter, but he has yet to have a true breakout season and reach his full NFL potential. I have Bryan Bresee and Madubuike graded on the same tier. About where Lance Zierlein has him ranked and where Chad Reuter had him mocked, about the middle to lower part of the 2nd round, that is where I'd estimate a player like Bresee normally would get drafted.
In 2016, one of my favorite "late round" prospects was Ioannidis. I frequently drafted him in the 6th or 7th rounds in draft simulators.
He was 6'3 1/2'' tall, 299 pounds, 32 3/8'' arms, 10 1/8'' hands, with a 5.03 second 40 time, 28'' vert jump and 32 bench press reps. The key number is his arm length. Notice that his arms are almost exactly the same length as Bresee's arms and both players lack prototypical length for an NFL defensive lineman. This is one of the main reasons I don't have Bresee ranked higher, I just think his arms are too short.
Ioannidis initially didn't make the roster and was put on the practice squad. He was beaten out for a roster spot by a rookie UDFA, Anthony Lanier. Not exactly a stellar start to his NFL career. Ioannidis didn't get much playing time his rookie season.
The following season, Washington was still very high on Lanier's potential, they thought he could develop into a very good pass rusher. He flashed as a situational pass rusher, getting 5 sacks in 2017. Instead of having a breakout 2018, he got hurt and Washington unexpectedly waived him at the start of the 2018 season. They replaced him with Caleb Brantley. Washington quickly put Brantley on IR. He never played a single game for the team.
Meanwhile, Ioannidis very quietly was emerging. Per PFF, in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Ioannidis ranked 4th among all DTs in pass rush pressure rate and 6th among all DTs in pass rush win rate. While he was a good player at Temple, Ioannidis developed into an even better NFL player. Washington rewarded him with a 3 year contract in April of 2019 with a salary of $7.25 million.
The only thing that has slowed Ioannidis down has been injuries. He hurt his hand in 2017. He hurt his knee in 2018. He suffered a season ending torn biceps in 2020. He had another knee injury in 2021.
From 2017 through 2019, Ioannidis had 20.5 sacks. In 2019, he had a 71.9 PFF grade. Carolina signed him to a one year, $6 million contract for 2022. He produced by posting the 5th best pass rush win rate among NFL DTs in 2022, per ESPN.
There were many other 2016 prospects I liked who didn't turn out to be nearly as good (e.g. DeAndre Houston-Carson, Tajae Sharpe), but Ioannidis is one player who did succeed. He has far outperformed his draft position. Not bad for a player who got waived as a rookie and was beaten out by an UDFA. Can you imagine how that would have looked if Ioannidis had actually been a 2nd round pick that year? The GM would have looked silly.
Even though Bresee is currently ranked as a top 20 prospect on many boards, I have a gut feeling that he's not actually going to go that high and could be in play for the Rams. Bresee has gotten "beaten up" in the draft process by some NFL scouts and experts, but I think we shouldn't miss the forest for the trees when it comes to this player. He's very strong. He has good athleticism. He has good football character. His developmental arrow was pointing up prior to his ACL injury. He just needs to stay healthy and get more experience and he should be fine. So, while I don't see Bresee as an elite draft prospect, I still believe that he will be a good NFL player, just as Matt Ioannidis developed into one of the better defensive linemen in the league.