The New Orleans Saints have drafted Clemson DT Bryan Bresee with the No. 29 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Bresee has plenty of length at 6-foot-5, but does not have a lot of recent film in his collegiate years to look at after missing games in 2021 and 2022 from injury and illness. The defensive tackle can penetrate into the backfield, looking past the block to get to the football when he breaks through. His injuries — an ACL surgery and a shoulder surgery — may be cause for concern for his next few years as he revisits the fundamentals of the sport after recovery. If he still has that natural quickness and agility that have made him such a sought-after pass rusher, Bresee will do well in the pros, though his tackling form needs to improve to be effective in NFL backfields.
Bresee was the top recruit in his class in 2020, and started 10 games as a freshman. A torn ACL limited him to just four games in his sophomore year, but he was still named to the third team All-ACC. He was a second team All-ACC honoree in 2022 after recording 15 tackles and 3.5 sacks over seven games.
How can Bryan Bresee impact the Saints in 2023?
New Orleans typically runs a 4-3 defensive set allowing for two defensive tackles to be on the field. They did just sign Khalen Saunders as a free agent, so he likely will be starting. The other defensive tackle would be Carl Granderson, but Bresee could overtake him. At the best, he is able to start on the defensive line and help improve their run-stopping and pass-rushing numbers. At worst, he adds much-needed depth and likely starts getting worked into the defensive rotation throughout the year.