NFL Draft: Eagles host three stout defensive linemen for pre-draft visits, including Georgia’s Jalen Carter
With the free agency period winding down, teams around the league are starting to direct their attention to the NFL draft.
The Eagles have already hosted several players for pre-draft visits, including standout RB Bijan Robinson and top offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. Additionally, a source confirms that three more intriguing names have recently visited the NovaCare Complex in South Philly: Iowa DE Lukas Van Ness, Clemson DT Bryan Bresee, and Georgia’s Jalen Carter.
Philadelphia has two first-round selections in April, and it’s no secret how much they value the trenches. Here’s the scouting report on each player via NFL.com:
Lukas Van Ness
Nicknamed “Hercules” by teammates, Van Ness is a well-developed defensive end with excellent lean mass and additional growth still to come. He’s a power-centric prospect with force as his modus operandi as both a run defender and pass rusher. Van Ness needs to work on hand attacks for quicker block shedding and to diversify his rush beyond bull-rush challenges.
He’s taken snaps inside at Iowa but might need to keep filling out his frame before he’s ready to succeed as a run stuffer and pass rusher as a 4i in a 3-4 front. Van Ness is more of a splash player than consistent force on tape, but he possesses projectable traits that should allow for continued ascension as a pro.
…so this Lukas Van Ness kid has some power! Looks like f'n Justin Smith here lol— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) August 6, 2022
And against Peter Skoronski – who might be the best OT in CFB this season pic.twitter.com/jLp3Bg7cVN
Burly but athletic interior tackle who plays with a strong desire to get past the man in front of him. Bresee rarely gets caught up in long block engagements and possesses a deep anchor to battle double teams. He operates with subtle hand fighting that helps puts pressure on blockers but currently lacks the rush sophistication and shed technique to make more plays in the backfield.
If he can stay healthy and gain much-needed experience, Bresee should continue to progress at his position and become a good run defender with an ability to disrupt the pocket within his first few NFL seasons.
I want to see Brian Bresee + Jeffery Simmons pic.twitter.com/Y7Rq8XMlye— James Foster (@NoFlagsFilm) September 6, 2022
When assessing a player’s draft grade, we take into consideration areas like traits, toughness, explosiveness, skill level, potential for growth and positional projections. Across the board, Carter checks out in a big way. However, his maturity will need to be vetted by each team as they make their evaluations. The tape shows a defender with odd- or even-front versatility and a rare blend of first-step quickness and leverage through contact.
He’s capable of finding quick wins against sloppy guard play and finishes the play once he’s in the backfield. His hand usage can be violent or subtle, but the feet are always active and searching for an opening. Based upon talent, traits and projection, Carter appears ready to step into the NFL and become a productive three-down talent with Pro Bowl potential.
Jalen Carter should not be able to move this FAST 😳 pic.twitter.com/HDU8E6rAXl— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) December 15, 2022
Carter is the sexy name, as he’s widely considered the best talent in the draft — off-the-field woes aside. Van Ness and Bresee aren’t anything to scoff at either, however. In fact, the latter has had to overcome a lot to get to where he is today.
Last September, Bresee’s 15-year-old sister, Ella Bresee, lost her battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Her brother continues to feel her impact each and every day, and Bresee uses that inspiration to keep pushing forward.
“It was definitely a tough situation, losing her,” Bresee said. “Just seeing her battle through cancer, it was tough. But just knowing what she went through motivates me every day, the fight that she put up and how much she loved watching me play. That’s something that definitely just motivates me to continue to work and do right by her.”
Bresee’s perseverance through a trying time certainly didn’t go unnoticed, and it’s players of his character that the Eagles value. Replacing the production of Javon Hargrave will be no easy task, but it’s one that Bresee would welcome if he were to land in Philadelphia — with the help of his baby sister from above.
“It’s tough, but I know she’s up there watching me.”— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 1, 2022
The story of Ella Bresee, the younger sister of Clemson DT @bryan_bresee, and her courageous battle against cancer ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rLPAvV7iZI
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Mandatory Credit: Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images