Since the beginning of the Dan Quinn era, building blocks have been quietly acquired and placed on this roster, most notably on the defensive side of the ball. In the past three drafts, the Atlanta Falcons have added key weapons such as Keanu Neal, Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley, Deion Jones, and Grady Jarrett. For a unit that took a major step forward in 2017, a couple of pieces here and there are still needed.
One piece that will likely be addressed this offseason is the defensive tackle position. The team is facing attrition with veterans Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw, and Ahtyba Rubin being unrestricted free agents. Which can possibly leave Jarrett as the only pure defensive tackle on the roster. That must and will change. So for today, here is a scouting report on an interesting prospect in the upcoming draft that fits what the Falcons are deploying on defense.
Taven Bryan Scouting Report
Weight: 295 lbs
Games watched: vs. Kentucky (2017), vs. Missouri (2017), vs. Florida State (2017)
Strengths: On film, Bryan stands out because of his burly body size and his often-unmatched strength. The 2017 season was his best campaign while at the University of Florida with 37 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks. His natural strength is a problem for single blockers as he can naturally be an anchor at the point of attack and rarely pushed back from opposing blockers.
Bryan fires off the ball very well and with his height, Bryan finds himself knifing through blockers fairly easy. He is a very powerful tackler and is very refined in that department. In run defense, Bryan has been noted to tie up blockers commonly which of course will allow his linebacking friends to roam free and create havoc. He is not necessarily known as a pass rusher but he does have the capability to generate pressure
Weaknesses: Bryan needs plenty of technique work. From hand usage to consistently adjusting his pad level, Bryan needs plenty of polish. His overall skill set has plenty of rawness to it so Bryan will need to time to round into form as a interior defender. Bryan does not necessarily have a ton of production attached to his name while at Florida. Prior to his 2017 season, Bryan only recorded 25 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss in those two seasons.
Conclusion: Adding interior defensive line talent is pretty inevitable this offseason for the Falcons. Going back to last offseason on top of what could happen this upcoming offseason, the Falcons could be on the verge of losing about three or four defensive tackles from their rotation. So drafting a guy like Bryan could be even more important going forward. Bryan has the power to blend very well with the quickness of Grady Jarrett to form a devastating one-two punch.
If he tests well at the NFL Combine, there is a possibility that Bryan creeps into the late 1st round range due to his talent and potential. Do not let his impeding development take away from what he brings to the table in Atlanta. Bryan could be a nice fit on the defensive line for the Falcons in the interior and at times as a base defensive end on run downs. A solid second round grade fits Bryan at the moment and his presence on the Falcons roster will provide another building block for the young defense.