NFL Draft Weekend

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A CLOSER LOOK: Defensive end Austin Bryant

Player: DE Austin Bryant, Clemson

Pick: Round 4, 117 overall (after trade down with Falcons)

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 271

Workout results: Unable to participate in the Combine or Pro Day because of a torn pectoral muscle sustained during the season. He continued to play on it and put off surgery until after the season, which ended in a victory over Alabama in the national championship game.

Bio: Closed out his career at Clemson with a productive 2018 season, playing on one of the most talented defensive lines in college football. Played and started all 15 games, recording 14.5 tackles for loss with eight sacks.

Played 51 games as a four-year player, producing 35.5 tackles for loss and 21 sacks, with 17 unassisted sacks. The pectoral injury occurred in Game 8 vs. Louisville. Bryant finished that game and played in the remaining six.

View photos of defensive end Austin Bryant.

Analyst take – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: “Offers potential as a rangy edge rusher with the length to separate and turn the corner, but he might not offer enough rush talent to overcome his struggles in holding the point against the run. He has starter’s traits and backup talent, but he could end up as a future starter if he gets his strength right."

Mike O’Hara’s take: In an era when players shut it down for the season and skip bowl games because of the injury risk – all of it understandable – I like the commitment he had to his team and desire to continue playing after the injury. His production warranted being drafted right where he was taken.

Tim Twentyman’s take: Bryant was the fourth wheel of that terrific Clemson defensive front. He’s a rangy edge defender with good size and has a track record of production. The pectoral injury he played with, and ultimately had surgery on after the season, could have hurt his stock a bit. If he returns to the player he was pre-injury, this appears to be a terrific value pick in the fourth round.

Position depth chart: The Lions move a lot of players around, inside and on the edge, in head coach Matt Patricia’s scheme. Returning starters are Romeo Okwara and Da’Shawn Hand, who also plays inside. Trey Flowers was signed as a primary free agent. Others on the roster: Eric Lee, Mitchell Loewen, Jonathan Wynn and John Atkins.

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