Jordan Brailford, EDGE
School: Oklahoma State | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 250 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd or 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Charles Harris
Jordan Brailford’s path to becoming a star in college football is rooted in the adage “it doesn’t matter how you start it matters how you finish”. Brailford was a 3-star recruit in 2014 and is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He had to redshirt his freshman season because of surgery to repair a fractured tibia he sustained while in high school. He played in 10 games alongside Emmanuel Ogbah in 2015. The 2016 season was supposed to be Brailford’s first as a starter but he missed the entire season due to stress fracture in his shin. It was a really rough start to his career but he has largely been injury free for the last two seasons and has played in every game since 2017. Brailford put up gaudy stats this past season and made a name for himself as one of the best pass rushers in the BIG 12. He worked all over the field. He lined up as a strong side and weak side defensive end and played all three linebacker positions as well. Such mobility in the positions he’s played is a testament to his athleticism and versatility. Because of it Brailford should generate a lot of interest on day 3 of the draft due to the prevalence of the big nickel packages that feature 4-2-5 and 3-3-5 alignments.
- Good athleticism and versatility. I’m tempted to say Brailford’s best fit in the NFL is as a 4-3 DE but I would not be shocked if he is drafted as a 3-4 OLB and moved around from DE to LB positions based on the situation in either base scheme.
- Shows good burst, speed, and quickness off the snap and can win with it off the edge. Has good strength as well and can win with strength and power. Quickness also makes him a threat as an interior rusher as well.
- Has decent vision into the backfield as well as instincts beyond the pass rush can snuff out running plays. Mostly reliable as a tackler.
- Has experience dropping back into coverage and moves pretty well.
- Doesn’t have many counters to get off blocks. Can get stuck fighting with linemen instead of disengaging and moving toward the ball.
- Related to the above hands at the point of attack and general technique could use work. He relied too much on his athleticism to win in college and it wont be as easy in the NFL.
- Injury history including lower leg fractures and shoulder strains and surgeries to repair them as a result he’ll be older than the typical rookie. Has been mostly healthy these last two years though.
Let’s see his work:
RIP x2 Rypien
Jordan Brailford is going to be a problem in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/JwSbY67tp4— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) January 19, 2019
Jordan Brailford is raw as a LB, but he has some serious pass rush traits. He can really jump off the line. pic.twitter.com/uYqbsgqNxD— West Coast Scout (@CaddytotheLama) December 25, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
While I can envision Brailford as an excellent fit for hybrid defensive teams and teams that deploy unconventional personnel like the Chargers, Vikings, or the Falcons I think he has some value for conventional base 3-4 teams like the Redskins as a designated pass rusher. Brailford may be an OLB in name on a 3-4 team but in nickel packages in passing situations I can certainly see him playing some defensive end as well despite his size. Brailford could also make a difference in passing situations as a weak side rusher playing the 9 or 7 technique. By now I’ve said my piece about how I think the Redskins are going to target a guy like this to supplement the pass rush as opposed to a bonafide starter. Guys like this are needed on the team think more Junior Gallete ability as opposed to Pernell McPhee’s or Houston Bates. Brailford will be one to watch as he has already shown up big at the Shrine game. If he continues to do well in the draft process he could help his draft stock a lot.