Brandon Mebane   DT   California

 

STRENGTHS 

Brandon has good size and strength for the DT position.  He shows a nice burst out of his stance and does a good job using his hands to keep his opponents from tying him up on the line of scrimmage.  Brandon plays with good leverage and quickness and in a short space, he is hard to handle.  He works hard on every play and will make your QB or RB pay if you make a mistake against him on the line.  He reminds me of Larry Triplett (DT Buffalo Bills.) 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Brandon does not look like he will be succesful at the next level in a 2-gap technique defense.  His lower body structure does not lend itself to this type of defense.  He is suited more to a defense that penetrates.  Brandon gets blown off the line when doubled teamed in the running game and is not strong enough to fight through double teams on passing downs.  He is a shoot-the-gap DT. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 3

There are two types of defenses that seem to be making the rage right now in the NFL.  They are the 3-4 defense and the 4-3, 1-gap defense.  Brandon fits these styles of defenses and teams that use these styles are going to rate him higher than the teams who are using the 2-gap technique defenses.   Because I feel that Brandon is a system DT-DE, I have to rate him as a third round talent.  However, to be honest, he could go any place in this draft.  He could go as high as a late 1st round pick to falling through the cracks into the 4th or 5th round.  It will all depend on what style of defense wins the Super Bowl and how many more teams decide they want to change or continue to use a 3-4 defense or a 1-gap, 4-3 defense.  That is the reality of the draft.  Those are the politics of the draft.  Some teams will rate Brandon high and some teams will not need DT’s and then some teams will just not think he is a fit for their system.  But Brandon will be a solid DT for the team that drafts him and most likely will be taken for granted by the fans and most of the media like most DT’s are unless they make a lot of sacks.  So you must be thinking by now, “What kind of wishy-washy profile is this?  I mean, really?!  Brandon could be a 1st rounder of a 5th rounder?”  That’s why we have two different boards -- the Talent Board and the Value Board -- to bail my butt out when we have a player like this.  Brandon is that type of player that if he slips to the second day of the draft and your team picks him, then they have just selected 1st day talent on the second day.  If Brandon is picked on the 1st day of the draft, then you got a good pick also.  This is the type of player that winds up being a steal of the draft because everyone knows that he has talent, but they wait to pick him because of the reasons I mentioned before.  So keep an eye out for Brandon on draft day.  It should be interesting to see where and when he is drafted.  Will he be just a good pick in the 1st day or a steal if he is picked on the second day?  Either way, he should be a solid DT for the team that drafts him.   

Drew Boylhart

December/2006