6-3/331 Boston College
Pros: Strong with nice quickness for his size. Holds the point of attack well, and is tough to move in the middle when he's blocked one on one. Has a decent ﬁrst step which helps him as a bull rusher. Shows a good motor and makes plays at the point. Even shows some quickness and burst when he occasionally lines up in the 3-technique.
Cons: Not much of a pass rusher. Can push the pocket, but won't do much penetration. Doesn't move all too well. Isn't great against double teams and needs to do a better job getting off blocks.
Overview: He's what I call a short-area player that projects well into the 3-4 at nose tackle. If you come into his area as a ballcarrier, he's going to get you. But if you need him to make a play outside his area, then he's not going to do it. This is what makes him a good ﬁt in the 3-4 defense as opposed to the 4-3, where guys need to be a bit more rangy.
NFL Forecast: If Brace goes to a 3-4 team, he can be a capable starter at nose tackle. He doesn't appear to have great upside to be one of the top nose tackles in the game, but should be a solid starter. In the 4-3 scheme, he could be a starter as well because of his value on running downs, but he'd have to be pulled on passing downs. In the 3-4, he can play on every down. He'll do well keeping blockers off middle linebackers. He'd probably be best right away working his way into the rotation, as opposed to being handed the starting job right away. But I don't think his learning curve will be too long and he should be a starter by his second year, third at the very latest. He's closer to Gabe Watson than Jamal Williams if you ask me. Although after seven or so seasons, he might be closer to Williams at that point.
ATL Forecast: Brace would help the Falcons rotation, and would ﬁt nicely as a two-down player at nose tackle. But he isn't going to do anything as a pass rusher. He'd be at best a 1 or 2-sack guy, and all of them would likely be coverage sacks. He would be a similar player to Grady Jackson, but closer to how Grady was when he was past his prime than when he was at his peak. But because he's only a two-down guy, his value to the Falcons would not nearly be as a high.
Value: A 3-4 team looking for a nose tackle should take him in the second round. A 4-3 team, would be better off waiting until the fourth round or so.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 2.0
Scouting Reports of defensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft
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