NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alabama edge defender Chris Braswell

2WA9EYR Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Chris Braswell (41) during the CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game against the Michigan Wolverines, Monday, January 1,

The 2024 NFL Draft is fast approaching. The PFF big board is live, mock draft season is in full swing and the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up.

This year’s defensive line class features a wide variety of skill sets and many potential impact players. UCLA’s Laiatu Latu and Alabama’s Dallas Turner headline the edge defender group, while Texas’ Byron Murphy II and Illinois’ Jer’Zhan Newton provide high-end talent along the interior.

Let's examine Alabama edge defender Chris Braswell, who played only 1,200 snaps in his college career.


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SCOUTING SUMMARY

Braswell is an impressive athlete on the edge. His first-step explosiveness, pursuit speed and natural strength are all starting-caliber.

His speed-to-power bull rush moves even the biggest offensive tackle back at least two or three steps. It has taken him some time to hone his fundamentals to get on the field as a starting outside linebacker — and it didn’t help he had Will Anderson Jr. in front of him.

He still has some inconsistencies with his hand placement and pass-rush timing, and he needs more counters and better hand usage to get off blocks. Even so, this kind of athlete wins at the professional level.

Click here to see Chris Braswell's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

WINS ABOVE AVERAGE

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric evaluators can utilize to assess performance.

It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Braswell's Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2021.

 

HOW BRASWELL RANKS IN THE STABLE METRICS

PFF pass-rush grade is one of the most stable measures of play, as it isolates a pass-rusher’s ability to win, how quickly he wins and how well he finishes plays.

The quicker the rusher defeats the blocker, the higher his grade will be. And given the hundreds of one-on-one interactions over a given season, this grade is very stable from year to year.

PFF pass-rush grade is strong on its own, but we can also use it to gauge performance in “must pass” situations.

Pressure percentage and win percentage are also strong measures of play and are far better than just using sack totals to evaluate a pass-rusher’s performance.

PFF run-defense grade is also very stable from year to year, while run-stop percentage is a good measure of playmaking in the run game.

Braswell's percentile ranks in the most stable defensive stats since 2021.

BOTTOM LINE FROM PFF's 2024 NFL DRAFT GUIDE

Even if he doesn't become a pass-rush technician, Braswell's power, speed and length give him the floor of a rotational pass-rusher and the ceiling of an impact starter.
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