Morgan Breslin | 6'2, 250 pounds | Defensive end | Southern California | Senior
2012 Stats: 62 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks
It's been a while since a USC pass rusher has been as productive as Morgan Breslin was during the 2012 season. After transferring from junior college, Breslin posted the highest totals in tackles for loss and sacks that the Trojans have seen since Kenchi Udeze.
Playing primarily with his hand in the dirt as a junior, USC plans to utilize Breslin as a linebacker more during his senior season. Given his current size, that may be Breslin's best fit in the NFL. While he was named USC's defensive lineman of the year in 2012, it will be interesting to see what he can do in a position that better utilizes his skill set.
What he does well
Breslin's game is predicated on speed and his ability to get off the line. He explodes out of his stance with an impressive first step and quickly turns the corner. As a pure speed rusher, he grades out well. Breslin's bend around the edge and ability to get to the corner are his two best traits.
A big reason for Breslin's production in 2012 was his non-stop motor. He's relentless in pursuit and doesn't give up on a play when his initial rush is stalled. Combine that with his speed, and he ends up picking up plenty of tackles. That competitiveness and energy are always desirable. He also locates the football well and shows the ability to crash down the line of scrimmage on running plays to snuff out the ball carrier.
What he needs to improve on
Breslin isn't particularly strong, and it shows up in the running game. His shoulders are easily manipulated by strong offensive linemen, and Breslin ends up washed out on too many running plays. This also stems from his lack of hand use. Unfortunately for Breslin, that translates to his pass rushing as well. He hasn't developed any counter moves at this point in his career and doesn't use his hands effectively to disengage often enough.
The biggest issue Breslin needs to address is his lack of counter moves when pass rushing. He is strictly a speed rusher, and if he doesn't get to the edge before the tackle, he has little chance at getting to the quarterback. In order to be a consistent pass rusher in the NFL, he will need to develop more moves and figure out different ways to get to the quarterback. The strength issue comes up with his inability to bull rush effectively.
While he's a good athlete, Breslin isn't all that impressive physically. He has short arms and doesn't have a ton of length to his frame.
Breslin is not yet in the same class as other pass rushers in this class, though he has a chance to get there. He's more of a day two prospect right now, because he's a situational player . On obvious passing downs, Breslin could wreak havoc on the edge. But without a well-rounded game, it will be tough for a team to invest a first-round pick in him, especially considering his less-than-ideal measurables.
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