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Offseason Scouting Report: Kentrell Brice

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Offseason Scouting Report: Kentrell Brice

“I hope the scouts took a couple double-takes” – Kentrell Brice after working out at his pro day in 2016.

One would have to imagine that any scouts in attendance that day did exactly that. Scouts showed up to the pro day to watch some high profile NFL talents including Vernon Butler, Kenneth Dixon and Jeff Driskel. What they got to see was Brice run a 4.44 second 40-yard dash, leap 42 inches on his vertical and jump 11-feet, 1-inch for his broad jump. He also put up 21 reps on the bench press. His broad jump and vertical would have ranked first among any safeties at the combine and his bench press would have been second among safeties at the combine. Overall Brice had an absolutely tremendous day and certainly put up numbers that were worthy of making him a draftable player.

Unfortunately for Brice and fortunately for the Packers, Brice went undrafted and became a priority free agent. Per JSOnline, Brice had offers from Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Kansas City but chose Green Bay. Once in camp there was a buzz around Brice almost immediately. His performance during the preseason solidified a roster spot and he continued to get better as the season went on.

Below you are able to see the cutups of Brice’s tape from college as well as his rookie season in Green Bay. As always I recommend you watch the videos for yourself and come to your own conclusions before reading the scouting report below. Please note to view the full video threads you will need to link to Twitter by clicking on the tweets below.

 

Scouting Report

Strengths

Explosive – The first thing that I noticed when watching Brice was that his explosiveness jumped off the tape. Below you can see the play against Detroit where he quickly explodes from deep in the secondary to make a crushing hit on Golden Tate. While this is the play that stood out to me there are multiple plays in which you can see just how quickly Brice can go from reading the play to exploding to the ball carrier. He’s obviously not at this level, but the type of explosiveness that Brice displayed reminded me of Earl Thomas.

Fearless – The next thing that stood out to me was that Brice was fearless. He’s not afraid of the moment, not afraid of being the last line of defense and he’s certainly not afraid to put his body on the line. What impressed me so much was that Brice, as an undrafted rookie free agent, had no issue playing against some of the games elites and consistently made plays against them. In the cutups you see plays he made against Dez Bryant, Jordan Reed, Ezekiel Elliott, Jason Witten, Delanie Walker, etc… Nothing ever seemed to faze him.

Game Ready – While it’s impossible to know for sure, Brice stood out on tape as someone who was assignment sure. He always looked to be in the right spot at the right time and was in constant communication with his teammates. You could tell that he studied tape of the opposing team and knew their tendencies. His reads were so incredibly quick that it’s tough to come to any other conclusion. The scouting report on Brice coming out was that he was very intelligent and it would seem that this is translating to his weekly game day preparation.

Intimidating – Brice may not boast the intimidating frame of a Kam Chancelor, but he has absolutely no problem knocking anyone out who may come in his vicinity. Brice may be the hardest hitting safety that Green Bay has had since Chuck Cecil. This is something that Green Bay’s defense has been missing and Brice is just the player to strike fear in the heart of receivers who dare go across the middle.

Weaknesses

Finishing – Brice is an incredible finisher when it comes to knocking out offensive players, but he has struggled to finish on plays in coverage. The play below is an easy dropped interception against Dallas that you know he’d love to have back. There were also plays in coverage in which he had good coverage on the receiver or tight end but just wasn’t able to make a play on the ball. This isn’t uncommon for a rookie and if he can finish the plays where he’s already putting himself in a good position he will be able to take the next step as a starting caliber NFL safety.

Coverage – By no means is Brice bad in coverage but if there is one way in which Brice can go from good to great it is by becoming an elite coverage safety. Brice has the speed, explosiveness and instincts to be really good in both man and zone coverage. What he lacks is experience and agility. Brice did score incredibly well athletically, but the two tests he struggled with were the short shuttle and the 3-cone. This could ultimately limit Brice’s ceiling as a coverage safety.

Turnovers – While it may be only a matter of time, Brice has yet to really make an impact in the turnover department. He did have one gift fumble recovery against Seattle but he’s going to need to find a way to jump more throwing lanes and force more fumbles. Again, this is about taking the next step for Brice from a solid NFL player to a playmaking safety.

Summary

When I posted Kentrell Brice’s videos on Twitter the most common question I received was, “How did he go undrafted?” The simple answer is that he shouldn’t have. He had college production, his college tape graded as draftable and his measurables at his pro day were out of this world.

Brice was the most impressive player in Green Bay’s rookie class this past season and the player that I’m most intrigued by going into 2017. Based on what I saw on film, I believe he has the ability to be a Pro Bowl caliber safety in this league. It goes without saying that he’s not at that level yet, but from a talent standpoint he has that type of ceiling.

Brice’s highlights were spectacular and his mistakes were both few and far between and incredibly manageable. I cannot stress enough how impressed I was with Brice’s confidence as a rookie. He knew the scouting report, trusted his keys and made plays.

He will need to get on the field more in 2017 and in order to take the next step he has to start making the wow plays that he’s capable of making. The talent, intelligence and desire are there. It would seem that Brice just needs a full-time opportunity to really reach his true potential.

2017 Projection

Brice will likely begin the season as the team’s dime defensive back which is where he spent most of 2016. How much he can press for additional playing time will depend on his play during camp, injuries and Dom Capers’ creativity.

I stand by the idea that the Packers’ best pass defense includes Josh Jones and Morgan Burnett at linebacker with HaHa Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice at safety. Whether Green Bay gets that creative remains to be seen but it’s imperative that Capers and company find a way to get Brice on the field. Brice playing 10 snaps a game as an ultra-deep safety in 3rd and long situations simply isn’t good enough. Brice showed last season that he needs to be on the field more often and it’s the coaching staff’s responsibility to get him on the field and give him an opportunity to shine.

Notes

2016 PFF Grade: 49.4 (79/90 eligible safeties).

Brice’s RAS: https://relativeathleticscores.com/2017/05/17/kentrell-brice-ras/

__________________________

Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and appears weekly on 107.5 The Fan in Green Bay to breakdown film. This past season he was an analyst on Green Bay Nation on WFRV TV in Green Bay. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder; follow him on Twitter at @sconniesports.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ejr450's picture

In the immortal words of Bart Scott - "Can't Wait!"

This young man is a player - smart, feisty, athletic... sometimes you luck into one and maybe TT did this time. I can see the day we have our own Legion of Boom with HHCD, Brice, King, Jones, and whoever else plays CB...

Colin_C's picture

I love Ha-Ha, but Brice is the type of safety we really need on this team. Lots of guys in the NFL have great measurables, but without instinct and aggressiveness, it doesn't mean a thing. Fortunately, Brice has lots of both. I think by the end of the year, he's going to be a Packer household name.

nostradanus's picture

Nice article Andrew, yes I have been on the Kentrell bandwagon since he was signed as an UDFA, what a
gem he may turn out to be. I look for him to get plenty of sub-package experience this season and move into a possible starting role in year three depending on the Morgan Burnett contract negotiations. As they say, "you can't pay them all" As much as the Packers love Morgan he may not fit into their plans as he will be close to 30 and coming up on a third contract which Ted loath's to pay. Time will tell but it sure is nice to have talent like that waiting in the wings.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Excellent article Andrew, especially since it is what I was saying much of last year. From the beginning, I saw Brice as a combination of Nick Collins and Johnny Gray (yeah, I'm old...). I think he has more potential than Morgan or Ha-Ha, which is saying a lot. I'd like to see Brice as the free safety. I also believe that the four safeties are going to be in "the best eleven" on defense, so a package that uses them should be employed as often as possible.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

FS: not with a 7.66 second 3-cone. He is a strong safety unless that number is an anomaly. He had lots of problems in coverage last year. I don't think PFF gave him a 49 or ranked him 79/90 of Safeties based on his run support, which had to be above average.

dobber's picture

He can improve his technique, but I agree with you: he's got his limitations physically. I don't think he's a pure box safety, but he's someone who will be at his best playing downhill. I think the game needs to be in front of him. In essence, I think he's destined to be a SS or might even play more like a 4-3 WLB.

Gman1976's picture

Last year, Brice reminded me of Atari Bigby. When he hit a player....Boom! I hope he can stay healthy and continue to go....Boom!

Handsback's picture

Before we put Brice into either the Packer's or NFL HOFs, let's hope he can be at least as good as Atari Bigby. He reminds me of him, maybe even a better closer on tackling, and with work should be better in coverage.

gr7070's picture

Nice article.

PatrickGB's picture

Great article. He hits like a LB. Yet he is a deep safety. He has good closing speed yet is raw in coverage. Can he cover? Or I wonder if he can become a strong safety down the road? If he improves (which I hope he does) then we may have the best group of (4) safeties that I have ever seen in GB. Our weakness at CB will have to be mitigated by our safeties. This year our defense will probably be a "bend but don't break" type defense. Our ILB's are willing yet slow. TT may have decided that the safety position is more important than ILB's. Brice was a great find and I am glad he decided to come to the GBP's.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I like Brice. I hope he's worked on his hip flexibility and coverage skills. In the Lions clip notice how stiff he is turning his hips and how it gives the reciever inside leverage. If he gets those things average for a safety he could have a very nice career.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm really looking forward to seeing the progress Brice makes in year 2.
He became our enforcer in the back end of the defense late last year. His tackling and hitting ability were truly impressive.

dobber's picture

This team has needed a more physical presence on defense, and Brice and Jones both bring that in spades.

RCPackerFan's picture

Definitely.

With Brice, Thomas and Jones, they have some hitters for sure.

Finwiz's picture

Contrary to how NEGATIVELY I feel about Gunter and his chances to make the team or contribute, Brice is the real deal and better be part of GB plans in 2017. Brice is a lot more talented than Gunter, understanding they play diff positions.

Finwiz's picture

Mike Clemens reporting GUNTER was burned twice by both Devonte and Allison in practice today, where Rodgers hit Devonte for 60 yards and overthrew Allison. In both cases GUNTER was burned badly and not close to either receiver. He said the "LACK OF SPEED WAS CLEARLY EVIDENT". Sorry, I can't stand Ladarious Gunter, and if we have to enter the season with this guy at CB, we are in big big trouble. Opposing QB's will find him ever week.

A Pickled Packer's picture

This gut hits like Jack Tatum but does he hit too hard? Do coaches coach players not to hit so hard to avoid injuries? Probably, but in Brice's case I would hate to see it. Smash mouth football, laying the lumber for me this Brice kid is a throw back to those olden days when the hits were harder and the penalties fewer.

dschwalm's picture

This so frustrating. Trying to enjoy a column where the grammar is atrocious and the spelling is almost as bad. There is no credibility in a column by a writer like this.

Andy Herman's picture

I appreciate the feedback. Any specific examples or suggestions are always welcome and appreciated. Thanks for reading! -Andy-

Tundraboy's picture

Exactly. To me one of the great thing about football, compared to other sports, is that if you mess up or make a mistake you can take your anger out in a positive way. Best way to atone and get out your frustration is my making a hard tackle or hit.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Maybe the article underwent editing, but I thought the grammar and spelling were both fine. Moreover, there was good flow in the narrative.

Now, strangely enough, I did think the same thing, but it was about the comments. Seeing so many misspellings and terrible grammar in the comments is starting to erode my own abilities. Dynomite indeed.

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