Scouting the NFL Draft: Florida DL Caleb Brantley | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Scouting the NFL Draft: Florida DL Caleb Brantley

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Scouting the NFL Draft: Florida DL Caleb Brantley
    Getty Images
    Caleb Brantley of the Florida Gators sacks Brogan Roback of the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ben Hill Stadium Sept. 6, 2014. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

    Caleb Brantley, DL, Florida
    Ht. 6'2", Wt. 297, Arm: -, Hand: -, Bench: -
    40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
    Games Watched: Vanderbilt, Florida St., Alabama

    If you think other games better reflect this player's ability or you want to request a profile on a specific player, email me or hit me up on Twitter.

    Before committing to Florida over countless major schools, Caleb Brantley was named All-State, an Under Armour All-America and the top defensive tackle at the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge. After redshirting in 2013, he notched 21 tackles, 4 TFL and 3 quarterback hurries in 12 games as a rotational player.

    Brantley took over as a starter in 2015, finishing the season with 2 sacks, 6.5 TFL and nomination to Pro Football Focus's All-America team. After the season, the self-proclaimed "best D-lineman in the country" vowed to back up his words in 2016. His production — 2.5 sacks and 9.5 TFL — didn't measure up and he decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

    Strengths

    • Hands - Quick, active
    • Feet - Good lateral movement, change of direction
    • Strength - Strong push, anchor
    • Burst - Flashes quick first step
    • Pad Level - Plays with naturally low pads
    • Pass Rush - Good Swat/swing, spin, etc.
    • Run Defense - Stacks, reads well
    • Disruption - Lives in opposing backfields

    Weaknesses

    • Finishing - Doesn't close sacks, TFLs often
    • Size - Smaller than ideal
    • Length - Appears to lack ideal arm length
    • Disengaging - Trouble shedding blocks
    • Awareness - Fooled by misdirection at times

    Verdict: Second Round

    Brantley is a top 50-level player, but a lack of top defensive tackles in this draft increases his value. His combination of strength, quick feet and instinctive hand use put him in position to make a ton of plays in the backfield, but he doesn't always finish. If you're looking for a disruptive three-down defensive lineman, though, there aren't many in this draft better than Brantley.

    Brantley is the latest version of undersized three-techniques that are growing in popularity around the league. He's not on the level of Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins, but he's cut from the same cloth. The Cowboys need pass rushers all along their front four and Brantley might be their best bet to bring pressure up the middle.