22 Jul Big Kat Bryant, Central Florida
Graduate (5Sr) | 6’5″ 245 lbs | Cordele, Georgia | 1/4/1999
Lengthy, versatile edge rusher with the speed and instincts to play multiple positions in the front seven but lacks the quick get-off and punch strength to be a consistent pass rusher
Big Kat Bryant, in high school, was a 4-star prospect and an Under Armour All-American. As a freshman, he was a rotational player for the Auburn Tigers. He then earned the starting position as a sophomore. He was voted a team captain for the 2020 season; however, after Gus Malzahn was fired, he transferred as a fifth-year senior to UCF.
Last year during 2020, Big Kat struggled with a nagging ankle injury the first five games of the year and didn’t look to be in complete game shape to start the season. He has played primarily as a stand-up edge rusher in Auburn’s 3-4 base defense. He showed some versatility being able to put his hand in the dirt over the tackle.
- Uses his lengthy frame to disrupt the quarterback’s throwing lanes even if he doesn’t get home
- He has the play speed to chase down ball carriers across the field.
- Smooth and fluid dropping into coverage underneath or into his flat and hook zones.
- Plays with good instincts against the run as he understands where his gap is and uses great positioning to fill it.
- Maintains good leverage and actively uses his hands in run support, enabling him to hold the edge.
- Displays a good motor to chase down the quarterback when they’re escaping the edge.
Areas To Improve:
- Needs to be more consistent with the initial first step off the line.
- Must work on having more active hands during his pass rush; has only shown the ability to win with an outside speed move.
- Does not have the mass needed to play defensive end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 in the NFL. He would need to add weight to do so, which may come at the expense of his speed.
- Needs to improve his hands to deconstruct, disengage, and shed blocks in a timely manner.
- Lacks the upper body strength for the initial punch to be a consistent block shredder.
- Needs to work on his flexibility to bend around the offensive line to disrupt the pocket.
- Inconsistent tackler who needs to improve his technique wrapping around the ball carrier.
- Undisclosed nagging right ankle injury in the 2020 preseason that kept him limited for the first two games of the year and caused him to miss the third game against Arkansas
Bryant has a lot to prove in Orlando. We can assume UCF will run a scheme similar to what they ran with Trent Williams in Auburn which operates in 4-2-5 nickel and 4-1-6 dime. UCF can use his versatility as an OLB speed edge rusher or DE in the front four with his hand in the ground.
Bryant shows some signs of being a consistent pass rusher, but he will need to improve his hand usage, and pass-rushing technique moves along with his initial burst off the line. He has effectively contained the outside run on the strong side when aligned on that side. If he can show that he has fully recovered from his injury and shows improvement in his pass-rushing techniques, he can be an HPFA (high-priority free-agent). Bryant would be best suited for a 3-4 defense team that can align him as WLB or SLB to set and rush from the edge.
Dillon Gonzalez, a Tampa Bay Native, joins Expand the Boxscore with experience working in the football industry as a coach and Scouting student. In 2020, Dillon received Football GM and Scouting training from former Bucs GM Mark Dominik, Current Montreal Alouettes Director of US Scouting Russ Lande, and John Wooten, former player, and Executive. With joining XTB, he looks to continue building the necessary skills needed to obtain his aspirations of being an NFL Scout. In Dillon’s spare time, he likes to play video games, listen to music, and spend time with his family and two Dachshunds.