This week I was able to get in touch with some Draft experts to get some options on David Bruton – the highest ranked Notre Dame prospect on everyone’s draft board. I got some pretty interesting and varying opinions on where Bruton will get drafted and where he might fit in best in the NFL.
We also have a featured article up on the home about Bruton’s NFL potential as well.
- I believe David is a tough in-the-box safety with above average upside. He has been knocked by many as not a great coverage guys and the complaint is that he lacks elite change of direction and fluidity in his hips. If drafted as a SS an paired with a rangy and solid coverage FS he could become a starter in an enforcer role. I personally give him a 4th-round grade.
- Steve Martin – Consensus Draft Services
- I like Bruton a lot, probably more than most. I have him as the third-ranked safety on my board behind Patrick Chung and Louis Delmas. What makes Bruton stand out is his size-speed combination. He reminds me of a slightly bigger version of Browns safety Brodney Pool. Like Pool, Bruton has impressive size but its his athleticism that really gets him noticed. Physically, he looks like he could play strong safety, but his speed, athleticism and instincts make him more valuable at free safety. I gave him a 3rd round grade, but could see him coming off the board anywhere between the late 2nd and mid-4th round. He isn’t an elite prospect, but he’ll be counted on to contribute on special teams right away and could even compete for a starting job depending on where he lands.
- Ryan McCrystal – Draft Ace
- I think Bruton is going to be a 4th or 5th round pick. I’m not sure he is starting material but at the very least he’s going to be a high-quality backup and Pro Bowl-caliber special teams ace. What is holding him back is his lack of range and hands made of stone.
- Scott Wright – Draft Countdown
- Has recently been climbing draft boards due to strong workouts, most notably at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. Great size for a safety – could be shifted to strongside linebacker, too (6-foot-2, 219 pounds). Excellent speed (timed at 4.40-4.46 in the 40-yard dash at the combine) and athleticism (41 1/2-inch vertical jump – that’s NBA-caliber). Best-case scenario – he is a late second-round pick; worst-case he falls out of the fourth round, but he should be a late-third or early fourth-round pick. Teams in need of a free safety or strong safety could draft him, but he’s not likely a first-year starter in the NFL. Could contribute immediately on special teams. Some team may try to make him into a SAM, like Thomas Davis in Carolina.
- Cory J. Bonini, Managing Editor – KFFL
The most interesting comment to me was the possibility of turning Bruton into a linebacker on the NFL level because he’s been the only safety over the last few years that Notre Dame fans haven’t depth chart engineered to linebacker. Tom Zbikowski, Chinedum N’Dukwe, and even Kyle McCarthy have all been DEC’ed to linebacker on the various forums over the past few summers, but Bruton hasn’t. Before anyone dismisses the idea though, remember that Brian Urlacher was a safety in college before moving to linebacker in the NFL with the Bears.
It will be interesting to see where Bruton ends up getting drafted since there seems to be a lot of varied opinions on where he should be selected. I think at least one team has fallen in love with Bruton’s measureables and will take a chance on Bruton in the late second round. Personally, I’d love for my Eagles to use their 3rd round pick on Bruton as the eventual replacement for Brian Dawkins who left via free agency this off-season. He’d be a perfect fit for the Eagles aggressive, blitz happy defense.
On a side note, hopefully we have a few more potential early draft picks to discuss this time next year.
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