Name: Caleb Brantley
Position fit: Defensive tackle (3-technique)
Stats to know: Brantley has had at least 23 pressures and 23 run stops each of the last two seasons.
What he does best:
- Wins with quickness off the snap.
- Effective at swiping the hands away of the blocker attacking him.
- Adept at turning his hips to one side or the other to help him quickly get between blockers.
- Good core flexibility and strength to turn his hips sideways while still moving forward quickly.
- Strength to toss blockers aside.
- Diagnoses power run quickly.
- Can quickly change direction to chase ball-carrier.
- Quickness can cause havoc on the back-side and front-side of zone runs.
- Effective club-swim, club-rip, stutter & swipe and counter moves.
- Wins laterally with athleticism.
- Quickness makes him effective on stunts.
- Three-year production on 1,103 snaps is outstanding.
- Frequently ends up in the neutral zone because he is trying to time the snap count.
- Has trouble getting off the block if he loses the initial engagement.
- Doesn’t show an ability to anchor against double teams and tends to get pushed around.
- Overaggressiveness can take himself out of plays at times.
- Doesn’t have the length to play outside or the bulk to play nose tackle.
- Career-high his 434 snaps in 2015. Can he do it for a full season?
Player comparison: Grady Jarrett, Atlanta Falcons
Brantley is a quick penetrating 3-technique defensive tackle who has a similar playing style to Jarrett who has had a strong start to his career both rushing the passer and defending the run.
Bottom line: Brantley is a 3-technique defensive tackle who relies on quickness to penetrate into gaps. He also has the lateral quickness and core flexibility to “get skinny” into gaps and disrupt plays. Brantley’s suddenness off the snap can really make blockers look silly if they get their weight too far in front of them in an effort to engage him early. Brantley’s initial move is to swipe the hands of the blocker in front of him and quickly get around the side of him. He does have an effective spin-counter off the initial hand-swipe move. Brantley largely played the 3-technique defensive tackle position where he is lined up on the guard’s outside shoulder and that is the position he is best suited for in the NFL. Brantley has shown the ability to impact the pass game and therefore will be able to stay on the field for all three downs.