2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Big Kat Bryant

Big Kat Bryant

Markavist “Big Kat” Bryant had a breakout year at UCF. Being a four-star player out of college, Bryant spent his first four years at Auburn before going to UCF for his final year. In 12 games, Bryant earned All-AAC Honors and led the team in tackles for loss with 14. He also earned preseason third-team All-AAC honors and preseason second-team All-AAC honors from Athlon. Bryant’s year at UCF was across the board his best year, with career highs in every category. He showed why he is one of the better defensive linemen in the class.

With Bryant being able to play both on the edge or kicked inside, he poses a lot of value for a team looking for defensive line help. While at Auburn, he always left the team and fans wanting more, he delivered it while at UCF. However, while the numbers were great, he left a lot on the field. While Bryant has always been regarded as a leader for Auburn and UCF, his on-field play hasn’t been the caliber of others in his class.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Big Kat Bryant
Jersey: No. 1
Position: Edge
School: UCF
Class: Redshirt Senior
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 250 lbs
Games Watched: Navy (2021), Temple (2021), Florida (2021), Tennessee (2020)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown

Pass Rush Ability (12/15)

Bryant’s pass rush ability has left some people wanting more. While on paper, he has the size and skillset to be one of the better edge defenders in college, his play didn’t fit his size. With all of Bryant’s moves at his disposal, he didn’t put it together all the time. While we might see him have a few series of dominance, it’s followed by where he looks overwhelmed. However, Bryant has a lot of skill when rushing the passer and could blossom into a high-caliber edge defender.

Explosiveness (7.5/10) 

Bryant does show that he is explosive when turning on his film. With Bryant possessing a tremendous first step, beating him off the line is tricky. He has always been a stand-up or hands-in dirt guy, so his first step is his weapon. He uses his explosiveness more in the run game than in the pass-rushing game. While Bryant does show an adequate first step that is explosive, it’s not a relentless skill that he displays. Furthermore, while his first step and explosiveness are significant, it’s not at the level to be considered dynamic, which knocks him down a little.

First Step (8.25/10) 

He has shown the dreaded false first step in which he led off with the wrong foot. While it’s not always, it mainly rears its head as the game ends. As the game is coming to a close, Bryant’s fundamentals seem to leave him. At the same time, it’s the most obvious when it comes to his first step, which poses a problem. As the league has become more about passing and quick passing, having a false step could be a problem. Furthermore, a false step could slow him down and negate his ability to rush the passer.

Bend (7/10)

Bryant’s bend and lateral mobility have been something that isn’t great. While it’s slightly above average for players in college, it isn’t up to par when it comes to his counterparts in the draft. Bryant has shown stiff hips on film and a lack of lateral mobility. While he won’t be bending like Von Miller, his game isn’t necessarily based around his bend. He operates with more strength and finesse rather than speed and shiftiness. While having the ability to bend around the corner is positive, it hasn’t hampered him so far and more than likely won’t in the league.

Hand Usage (7/10) 

He shows that he doesn’t have great hands, but it isn’t a concern. While he doesn’t have the standard hand placement of another prospect, it will be a negative when he enters the league. Often he misses with his hands by either firing them too early or too late. Also, with Bryant lacking go-to moves to pair off of his first move, it severely limits how effective he can be in a rush. While this is his biggest weakness, getting a professional coach could bring his hands to a better spot.

Motor (10/10)

With Bryant playing with decent effort all the time, one of his critiques is that he needs to have more tenacity when playing. Too often he shows that he isn’t in the game mentally and won’t be relentless every snap. But, while he won’t be someone who will be in the quarterback’s face on every snap, he is more than a threat to come around the edge and attack the quarterback.

Tackling (9/10)

This is by far Bryant’s best skill set. With Bryant having long arms that pack a lot of force behind them, he won’t let go once he grabs hold. Rarely during his five years in college, you see a player escape his arm tackle and break free. There have been times when a player will fight for extra yards after contact against him. Again, however, it’s infrequent that someone will get away from him.

Strength at the LOS (7.75/10)

With Bryant showing game in and out that he is one of the stronger players in the draft, it will serve him well in the league. However, strength at the line of scrimmage isn’t the only factor in how successful he will be in the trenches. While it’s a good base point, it isn’t enough to beat some of the better linemen in the league.

Run Defense (8.75/10)

Bryant’s run defense is by far his best attribute. With strong arms and a big frame, he will more than likely get the player he’s after on the ground. While Bryant is a lot better playing the run rather than the pass, he could be moved inside in the NFL. However, unless Bryant is a weakside edge threat playing the run isn’t as sought after from his position. Due to him being such a dominant force in the run game, teams may transition him inside. Furthermore, Bryant will always be able to make a tackle in his gap and rarely lets someone run past him.

Versatility (4/5)

While Bryant primarily played his career on the edge, he has the skill set to be an intriguing player to switch to the inside of a 3-4 defense. With the lack of skills to be a dominant edge threat for teams, a transition inside could easily be something that a team will look at. With Bryant being a day two pick that has a lot of upside, he is going to be someone who needs a few years in the league to develop. Furthermore, with Bryant being a prospect who needs time to hone his skillset, teams will take him for his versatility and development potential.

Player Summary

Bryant is a unique prospect this draft. With the ability to play inside and outside, teams will value him a little higher than he should go. While Bryant’s weakness is his ability to rush the passer consistently, he makes up for it by being a demon in the run game. With Bryant lacking some effort and fundamentals, having him be a day two pick is a little risky. However, once all of his kinks are polished out, his upside could make him an outstanding player.

Rookie Projection: Role Player

Third Year Projection: Starting Left End

Final Grade (81.25/100): Late Second Round

Player Comp: Jadeveon Clowney

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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