The NFL Draft can give you riches or it can give you junk. Some teams are set up for years based on their drafts, look no further than the 1974 NFL Draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers which saw four Hall-of-Famers drafted to the Black and Gold. However, other times drafts can set you back years when you miss badly on high draft picks.
This year, as with every other year, there are many prospects that divide analysts and fans on if they will come future stars or future busts. One of those prospects this year is Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee, and Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport thinks one of the best landing spots for the polarizing prospect is Pittsburgh.
“Cameron Heyward has been a mainstay on the Steelers defense for over a decade, but at 33, he’s nearing the end of a phenomenal career,” wrote Davenport. “Pittsburgh could use Bresee rotationally as a rookie behind Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi while grooming him for a full-time role in 2024.”
Despite having really good measurable, standing at 6’5″ weighing 298 pounds and running 4.86 40-yard dash, Bresee’s college production isn’t that great. After a good freshman year in 2020 where he recorded 23 tackles, four sack, and one forced fumble, he was unable to build on it due to injuries.
In 2021 Bresee tore his ACL, sidelining him for most of the season and given it was an ACL injury sometimes it takes over a year to feel like yourself again. In addition to tearing his ACL, in January of 2022 Bresee had shoulder surgery so in a short time there has been injury concerns.
Bresee finished his collegiate career with 61 tackles, nine sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception. Injuries certainly played a part in why his numbers aren’t better, but they definitely aren’t bad. Given his athletic ability he has to potential to become a really good player. But will he?
Pittsburgh does make sense as a landing spot as he doesn’t have to play right away. All of Bresee’s injuries have likely hurt his development a bit given he simply couldn’t practice with them and then had to recover. Joining a defensive line group that currently starts Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi means he won’t need to see 60-70% of snaps a game. It will give him time to develop behind two really good players, something that he can probably use.
Bresee went from being talked as a pick for the Steelers at 17 to now around 32 if they do decide to pull the trigger on him. Picking him at 17 would be very risky, but 32 would be as well. Bresee certainly has talent to become a very good player, but can you take that risk of a college athlete who has been constantly injured and not the most productive? I personally wouldn’t, but there also is a reason I am not in charge. Sometimes you have to swing for the fences.