The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Austin Bryant (6-4, 265)
Player position: Defensive end (weakside)
Years left of eligibility: 2 years
Current rank on depth chart: First Team
Player productivity so far: Bryant has been a part of Clemson’s two-deep rotation since the end of the 2015 season. He has 51 tackles, five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 22 career games. He came back from injury the last half of the season to record 16 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and three quarterback pressures.
What player does best: Bryant is very quick off the line and does a great job setting the edge. He has good technique and can get after the quarterback in obvious passing situations.
What player needs to work on: Like Ferrell, it is about keeping the weight on during the season. He too would like to stay between 260 and 270 pounds as the season goes along.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Vic Beasley, 2012: He played in 13 games and tallied 18 tackles. However, 8 were sacks and he had 8 quarterback pressures to go with two deflected passes.
Vic Beasley, 2014: He was a consensus first-team all-American with 37 tackles, including 21.5 tackles for loss. He also had 12 sacks and 9 quarterback pressures and three deflected passes. He also had three caused fumbles and one he returned for a touchdown.
Shaq Lawson, 2013: He played in 13 games and tallied 35 tackles, including 10 for loss. He also had four sacks and 9 quarterback pressures.
Shaq Lawson, 2015: He finished fourth on the team with 88 tackles. He led the nation with 25.5 tackles for loss and was second in sacks with 12.5. He was a First-Team All-American.
Kevin Dodd, 2015: In his only year as a starter, Dodd tallied 68 tackles, including 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He also had one deflected pass. He had five of his 12 sacks in the College Football Playoff, including three against Alabama in the national championship game. He was named First-Team All-ACC.
Christian Wilkins, 2016: The defensive tackle moved outside to become an all-American at defensive end. He totaled 56 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss. He also had 10.5 sacks, deflected 10 passes and had 20 quarterback pressures.
What can you hope for? Bryant becomes the force we all think he can be as a starter. Think back to what he did in the 2016 Orange Bowl against Oklahoma. He came in for an injured Lawson and dominated the Sooner front.
What is a realistic expectation? It is realistic to think he can put up the same kinds of numbers Wilkins put up last season at the same position. I think you can expect at least 60 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 10 or more sacks.
What about the future? The future is now for Bryant. If he has a big year, as we all expect, then he will likely join Ferrell and throw his hat into the NFL Draft pool a year early. We shall see.