It's no secret that going into the 2023 Chicago Bears off-season, their biggest need is to upgrade the defensive line. It wouldn't surprise me to see at least three to four new players join the group between free agency and the NFL Draft. Clemson's Bryan Bresee is one of the more interesting and highly publicized college defensive tackles.
Bresee is a true third-year junior who was a highly regarded 5-star recruit three years ago and had offers from some of the best programs in the country. He chose Clemson and became a very productive starter as a freshman in 2020. For his freshman season, he totaled 23 tackles and 4.0 sacks playing in the DLine rotation.
After that very good freshman year, big things were expected from Bresee, but he has hit some roadblocks that have hurt his overall production. In 2021, he only played in Clemson's first four games before tearing an ACL and having surgery. For the four games he totaled 13 total tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Bresee rehabbed hard and came back strong for the '22 season but hit two more roadblocks causing him to play in only nine of Clemson's 14 games.
Following the second game, Bresee younger sister died from a rare form of Cancer. He left the team for a few weeks to be with his family. Shortly after he returned, it was discovered he had a kidney infection which caused him to miss more time. So, in reality, in the last two seasons, he has missed 13 games due to injury and personal reasons.
Bresee is a terrific defensive tackle when healthy, but I'm not sure he is a perfect fit for the Bears. I don't see Bresee being able to play the 3-technique position. He doesn't have the disruptive explosiveness needed to be a top 3-tech. He would be much better playing the 1-tech or off-set nose position in the Bears scheme. With the 3-tech being the preferred position in Chicago's defense, how high will Bresee be on the Bears' Draft Board?
Bresee can be a good nose for the Bears as he has the size, strength, and athleticism ideal for the position. Bresee is listed as being 6'5 – 305 and watching him on tape, I don't think he's quite that tall, and he looks to be heavier than 305, probably closer to 310 to 315. He's quick off the ball, has fast and strong hands, and his hand usage is very good. He can get off blocks quickly and get to the play.
Bryan is a competitor and plays hard every snap. He is disruptive in the run game, and though he doesn't have a high number of sacks, he consistently gets pressure on the quarterback. As a pursuit player, he shows speed and takes good angles to the ball. I would estimate his speed as being in the 4.9 range.
His medicals will be critical to how high Bresee will be on Chicago's Draft Board. Since he had an ACL tear and surgery, team doctors will request an MRI and X-Rays. During his medical evaluation, the doctors will check his knee's stability to ensure that the knee joint is tight. This is a common procedure for any player coming off surgery.
As for the kidney infection, I'm sure the internal medicine doctors from each club will have kidney function tests done to ensure everything is OK. One thing that is true about the Combine is that the medical testing a player receives will be the most comprehensive examination he receives in his lifetime.
If everything is OK from the medical, his physical testing will be the next thing of high importance. I do not doubt that Bryan Bresee will test very well.
The clubs that may have Bresee higher on their Boards are the 3-4 clubs. Why? Because he could be an ideal 5-technique in a 3-4 scheme.
If the Bears were to draft Bresee, it wouldn't be with the number one pick. He is more of a trade-down type of player. Even if the Bears were to trade down to four or five, I can't see them pulling the trigger on this player. While he may be a Top 10 player for some clubs, in my opinion, the earliest the Bears would take Bresee would be in the teens, which would mean either a couple of trade downs or they made a trade that got them a second first-round pick.
There is no question that Bryan Bresee will be a good NFL player, but it may not be with the Chicago Bears.