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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida

Is Bryan the explosive interior rusher the Giants have been missing?

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have assembled a number of players who could fill the role of the five-technique defensive end for their new 3-4 based defense. But while Kareem Martin, Josh Mauro, Romeo Okwara, and Kerry Wynn are all dependable, high-motor players, they aren’t particularly explosive or disruptive.

Those are traits that every aggressive defense could use in the middle of their front. There is no quicker way to the quarterback than up the middle, and no quicker way to disrupt a quarterback’s mechanics than pressure through the A or B gaps.

Giants’ general manager Dave Gettleman has emphasized building up the both the offensive and defensive lines, so it is possible that the Giants could take another defensive lineman highly if the value is right.

If so, there might be no more explosive or disruptive lineman than Taven Bryan of Florida.



  • Incredibly explosively powerful defensive tackle. Explodes off the line at the snap and is a handful for most linemen to block.
  • Carries his weight extremely well.
  • Elite athlete. Fast, explosive, and agile.
  • Generally plays with good leverage and pad level.
  • Versatile frame to play in a 4-3 or 3-4 front.
  • High-revving motor. Doesn’t give up when he sees that there is a play to be made.


  • Very unpolished. Seems to get lost once he beats his blocker and is in the backfield.
  • Can lose track of the ball in the backfield.
  • Needs to do a better job of using his hands to defeat cut blocks.
  • Arms are shorter than ideal and might fall below some teams’ thresholds.

Prospect Video

What They’re Saying

Sources Tell Us

”He’s starter level talent but I don’t think that is going to be next year. He’s out here getting by on his AA (athletic ability) but he doesn’t have enough feel for the game yet. That doesn’t happen overnight.” -- former player and NFC team scout


Does He Fit The Giants?

Taven Bryan is a blast to watch… Most of the time.

His first step, ability to attack gaps, and defeat blockers borders on the ridiculous. But then once he beats his man, he often seems to have no clue what to do next. Bryan’s athletic traits give him All-Pro potential, and watching him explode through gaps, rag-doll blockers, or stand up double-teams calls to mind players like Ndamukong Suh at Nebraska or Marvin Austin at North Carolina.

But in order to reach his lofty ceiling, Bryan will need good coaching to help develop his instincts and play recognition.

It might take longer than ideal, but if a team’s coaching staff can develop Bryan, they should have a potentially elite player on their hands.

His size, agility, and outright explosiveness would be a natural fit at 5-technique (or 3-technique on nickel downs) for the Giants, in the mold of Calais Campbell, J.J. Watt, or Justin Smith.

Dave Gettleman has never drafted a lineman (offensive or defensive) with arms as short as Bryan’s, but considering his upside, he might make an exception if he happens to slip to the Giants at 34th overall.