Position: Interior defensive lineman
Weight: 290 pounds
School: Florida Gators
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.98 seconds
Bench press: 30 reps
Vertical jump: 35 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 11 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.12 seconds (tied for fifth among defensive linemen)
20-yard shuttle: 4.48 seconds
Taven Bryan 2018 NFL Draft Profile
It’s highly unlikely Taven Bryan showed up to any of his preseason camps in college out of shape. His father is a former Navy SEAL and even Bryan admitted last year that some of the workouts he did with his dad to stay fit during the off-season were harder than those he had at Florida. He demonstrated that fitness during high school, playing on both sides of the ball and winning his team’s Iron Man award in 2013.
The Casper, WY native certainly ventured far away from home with his collegiate choice. Bryan committed fairly early to the Gators as part of what ended up being Will Muschamp‘s final recruiting class as head coach. After redshirting, he gradually eased into a role as a consistent contributor, starting just three games over the next two seasons. But he did recover three fumbles over that time period, including one he returned 48 yards against Florida Atlantic in 2015.
It’s his redshirt junior year that really caught the eye of next level talent evaluators. Bryan started every game, registering four sacks and six tackles for loss. But the numbers don’t tell the entire story as Bryan boasts a multitude of traits highly valued in the NFL. It’s a primary reason he decided to strike while the iron was hot and declare for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining.
- explosive initial burst post snap;
- freakish upper body strength which he uses to great effect separating from blockers;
- can hold the point with his play strength which can induce panic grabs once he wins at the point of attack;
- knack for drawing double teams should open opportunities for gap-shooting linebackers;
- relentless fighter who can penetrate narrowing gaps and close on the ball;
- scheme-versatile – could fit as a defensive end on 3-4 teams;
- 13th best pass rushing productivity grade among all draft-eligible players at the position from Pro Football Focus.
- doesn’t have prototypical body size for an NFL level interior defender;
- has to improve play instincts and ability to react and diagnose;
- could struggle against long-armed linemen who can effectively utilize their leverage to contain;
- plays with excessive forward lean at times which can impact his center of gravity;
- a bit one-dimensional from the standpoint of pass rush moves;
- was only a regular starter for one year in college;
- lack of collegiate experience could inhibit him making an instant impact.
NFL Comparison: Tyrone Crawford
Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins
Projection: Possible late first round but more than likely day two
Bryan is an intense, physical defensive lineman able to overwhelm at the point of attack and track to the ball. His play strength and ability to convert speed to power are highly impressive for a player of his size. But that size is a bit of a concern and, combined with his dearth of experience, makes him a fairly raw prospect for a potential day two (and maybe even day one) pick. Bryan also needs to fine tune his instincts so that he can effectively read and react at the next level. If he can do so, he has all the makings of a week in and week out contributor as a pro.