Weight: 250 lbs
Speed: Breslin is quick from the snap, and is able to generate a positive pass rush with his speed. He has a good first step and uses it to get on and past blockers before they can prepare. His ability to get around the outside edge is top-notch. He is at his best when he can pin his ears back and go after opposing quarterbacks without having to guess whether it’s a pass play or a run play. Having suffered a leg injury that ended his season, there will be extra focus on his ability to regain that speed.
Rush Ability: With very good speed and anticipation, Breslin is a great pure pass rusher. He gets a great jump and quickly gets into the backfield, and once he’s there, he knows what to do. He locates the passer right away and keeps locked on him as though he has radar. He’s also relentless in his pursuit, not giving up until the play is finished. He doesn’t vary his moves much, but he does what he is good at very well.
Health: The 2013 season ended early for Breslin. He suffered through a hip injury early in the year that cost him some time, then elected to have surgery that caused him to miss the remainder of his team’s games. NFL teams will put him through a battery of tests to ensure that his hip is at 100% and that he retains all the speed and agility that he had before the injury.
Size: Like a lot of college defensive ends, Breslin is at a size that puts him in between positions at the professional level. He’s a bit small to play defensive end in the NFL, but doesn’t project well as a linebacker. Being a “tweener” can hurt a player’s draft stock by a round or more. His size is also a liability in the run game. When a blocker is able to get a body on him, he’s able to be controlled and pushed around. He’s probably best used as a pass rushing specialist only, coming out of the game on run downs.
Junior Galette came into the NFL as an outside speed rusher without a lot of value as a run defender, much like Breslin. Both are of a similar size as well, with similar styles. They were productive college players, posting a lot of quarterback sacks and pressures, but were considered tweeners coming out of school. Galette has developed into a very nice player for the New Orleans Saints, and if Breslin can carve out that kind of niche for himself, he’ll have a fine career.
Breslin has a solid talent base to build from, and some tremendous skills, but injury and size issues likely make him a day three selection in the draft. He is also more scheme dependent than many of the other defenders, so that will limit his draft position as well. He probably will get taken somewhere between rounds four and six, with his medical evaluations playing a huge part of that. If there are questions, he could fall completely out of the draft.
Because of his size and limits to his game, Breslin will fit best as a 3-4 pass-rushing linebacker, where he is asked to primarily get after the quarterback. He can do what he does best, and not be required to do things like defend the run, where he can struggle. He could contribute on special teams as well, using his speed to chase down returners.