With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.
UCLA's Brian Price is one of the top defensive tackles in this draft. While he's unable to move over to the defensive end position in a 3-4 defense, due to his size, Price is still one of the top players in the draft. If the Patriots are able to convert Myron Pryor and Ron Brace into 3-4 defensive ends, then Price would be a great pick up if he falls to the second round. Price is a great player against the run and can penetrate the line and disrupt the pass. While we don't have a need for a defensive tackle, Price could provide great depth behind Vince Wilfork is Brace and Pryor move. Price is better fit for a 4-3 defense, where his pass rushing skills would be on greater display. Even though the 3-4 may not be the best fit for Price, he's still a great player and worth a look at.
His measurements and some quotes after the jump.
Height: 6-1. Weight: 303.
Projected 40 Time: 5.05.
Combine 40 Time: 5.13.
Summary: Price is a player I like a lot for teams that need a 3-technique (think a Warren Sapp-type role). He makes a lot of plays and is just flat out dominant at times. He doesn't take many plays off and it wouldn't surprise me if it's revealed that he has top intangibles. He'll find himself drafted in the top 25 picks.
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03/12/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT DEFENSIVE TACKLES: *Brian Price: UCLA, 6-2, 300, 1-2: He earned Pac-10 defensive player of the year honors in 2009 with 48 tackles (23?? for a loss) and seven sacks. Price is a short, squatty powerhouse who uses great explosion and quickness to get an edge, but his speed is average. His toughness reflects growing up in the South Central Los Angeles area and dealing with two of his brothers being killed. He is a work in progress and has size limitations, but there is little doubt he will give everything he has to make it in the NFL. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com/CBS Sports/USA TODAY
02/24/2010 - PRO POTENTIAL: DT Brian Price - The NFL loves defensive tackles like Price, who had uncommon production from the position as a junior. The 300-pounder had 23.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks last season. He's a potential first-rounder, even in a draft that is unusually filled with standout defensive tackles.
Price is a short, powerfully built interior defender that has been a disruptive force for UCLA's defense over the past three seasons. Price penetrates the line of scrimmage with good quickness and anticipation. He is best when in a stunting mode, but is adept at holding the point in base schemes. Price has strong hands to control and leverage blockers while maintaining gap responsibilities. Price is a solid pass rusher that can bull rush with good power or counter with a variety of pass rush moves. Price is a good football player that lacks typical height for the position but should fit well in 4-3 schemes and is regarded as a top five defensive tackle in the 2010 draft.
Price possesses the impressive natural power necessary to be a disruptive interior lineman. He’s a tough, competitive and productive player who battles until the whistle. Has the initial quickness needed to gain penetration against the run and pass. Uses his hands well to shed blockers and disengage against the run and has a variety of moves when rushing the passer.
Price does not have ideal height for the defensive tackle position. Doesn’t have the range to chase down running plays from behind. Only has adequate lateral agility. Can be inconsistent with his pad level and footwork at times.
Verdict: I don't see a place for Price on the team. We need a standout defensive end and Price can't provide that. We have swing players (DE/DT) in Pryor and Wright and, maybe, Brace. We don't need NT depth with Brace and Wright. There just isn't a need for a player whose top skills (pass rush) won't be on display in our defense.