Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Player Profile #32: Josh Brent

Josh Brent
Position: Nose Tackle
Size: 6'2, 315
Age: 23, 1/30/88
Drafted: 2010: Round 7 of Supplemental Draft
Experience: 1 Season

Salary History and Contract Status - 7/22/2010: Signed a four-year, $1.838 million contract. The deal included a $47,500 signing bonus. 2011: $405,000, 2012: $490,000, 2013: $575,000, 2014: Free Agent

2010 Supplemental Draft Profile From DraftInsider.net:Josh Brent - Illinois - 6'2 - 321 - 5.41 - Two year starter who posted 29 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and three sacks as a true junior in ’09. Sophomore totals included 34/8.5/1.5. Marks included 22 reps on the bench, 29-inch vertical jump and a 5.41-forty. Displays terrific initial quickness and gets off the ball with a nice first step. Flashes power in his lower body and bulrushes opponents off the ball. Fluid changing directions, smooth moving about the field and relatively athletic. Has a thick build for the inside. Really does not use his hands well and for the most part, once blocked, stays blocked. Looks sluggish, poorly conditioned and does not chase the action hard. Arrested in February of 2009 on a DUI charge and subsequently served time in jail the following June. Declared academically ineligible for the 2010 season. We put Brent on our radar screen off the 2008 film as he showed flashes of skill and was a prospect we thought possessed an upside. Unfortunately his play last year was nothing less than disappointing. While Brent shows NFL ability on occasion, his game lacks consistent effort and overall production. He has the size, basic athleticism and skill to play at the next level yet Brent must turn up every facet of his game to make it out of a camp this summer. Free Agent.

Pre 2010: Anytime you take a player in the supplemental draft, it causes you to raise an eyebrow. Brent was declared ineligible at Illinois for the 2010 season so then and only then did he apply for the NFL. At that point, he was too late for the regular entry draft, so he was one of the few to enter the NFL in this manner. To get a potential 3-4 nose tackle with great youth, great upside, and all of a $47,000 signing bonus is one of the most under-rated personnel moves of the year. The fact that the Cowboys grabbed him with cost certainty for 4 seasons of basically NFL minimum showed that there are many ways to find talent and you should exhaust them all in an effort to maximize resources and build a team.

2010:The first thing that Brent had to do was to simply make the team. Junior Siavii was the incumbent from 2009, and Brent survived that preseason battle even though he broke a bone in his hand in August. As the season went along, Brent played about 15 snaps per game. He played in all 16 games and slowly showed the coaching staff that he can do what they needed. He is a classic NT in the 3-4, where when single-teamed, he is able to throw his man back; and when double-teamed he is able to stand his ground and force the play elsewhere. It would be misleading to suggest that he made huge plays in his rookie season, but if you study his snaps (mostly on run downs - 1st and 10, short yardage) it seemed rather clear that he can play that position in the NFL at a solid level. Again, to find a prospect at this price with this potential role on the team moving forward deserves plenty of credit.

2011 Analysis: If the Cowboys were to kick Jay Ratliff over to DE, the team would then need a proper NT to stick in the defense. It would seem optimistic to think that Brent would be ready for that job just yet, but the Cowboys feel confident that it won't be long before he is ready to double his work load and get to the 30-35 snaps that most 3-4 NTs play in the scheme. Usually, those types of players head to the sideline on passing downs and therefore are primarily used for run stuffing. I imagine the Cowboys would love to see 5-10 more pounds on Brent, and for him to shake any rap he had in college of not always playing as hard and as consistent as they would like. To know the Cowboys full plans for Josh Brent, you would need to know their full plans for Ratliff. However, if you look at it from the simple assessment of gathering young, cheap, and talented players, then it would seem that Dallas is delighted with the player they have found in Brent. Year #2 for the young defender should be even better. Even if they keep Ratliff at NT, the idea should be to further preserve #90 for the important moments of a game by allowing Brent to take on the double-team run scenarios more and more and then Ratliff takes the passing scenarios as he has for years. Situational nose tackles.

Previous Profiles:

Miles Austin

Alex Barron

Martellus Bennett

Stephen Bowen

Keith Brooking

Dez Bryant

Victor Butler

Marc Colombo

Phil Costa

Leonard Davis

Doug Free

Andre Gurode

Montrae Holland

Jesse Holley

Sam Hurd

Bradie James

Kyle Kosier

Sean Lee

Kevin Ogletree

Igor Olshansky

John Phillips

Jay Ratliff

Marcus Spears

Anthony Spencer

DeMarcus Ware

Brandon Williams

Leon Williams

Roy Williams

Jason Witten

Sam Young

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