Jaquan Brisker - DB - Penn State
Welcome to the rookie profile for Jaquan Brisker. Brisker has caught the Nation’s attention and become well known as one of the most physical players in the safety position. Rather cliché but Brisker ticks the boxes to be a top talent, he’s a well-rounded and very talented safety, however after recent draft classes where safeties haven’t quite lived up to expectations, the question remains; will this stop what a clear 1st round talent from been selected as a 1st rounder.
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 200 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.48s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Brisker has definitely taken the longer route to get to where he is now, his academic issues meant that he wasn’t offered scholarships by the top colleges, opting for Lackawanna College where he spent two years. Brisker impressed during his two-year stint with Lackawanna, where he was named the North-East Defensive Football of the Year in 2018, he was also named as one of the best Junior College (JUCO) prospects for 2019. Leaving Lackawanna, Brisker was perceived as a four-star talent and drew up good levels of interest.
Brisker received offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Maryland, Utah, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Mississippi State and Maryland but he opted to commit to Penn State. Instantly, Brisker made an impact as a freshman featuring on 470 defensive snaps across 13 games recording 31 tackles, 1.0 tackle for a loss and 2 interceptions. Brisker had locked himself in as one of the best defensive talents very quickly and was named as one of the Bednarik Award’s ‘Ones to Watch’ as well as being named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Big Ten third team.
In the shortened COVID season Brisker started all 9 games for Penn State finishing third in tackles for the team putting up 57 tackles, 3.0 tackles for a loss and an interception. After a successful season, Brisker received All-American and All-Big Ten First Team honors from PFF and All-Big Ten Third team honors from coaches.
Throughout the past season Brisker has used the NCAA rule to allow him to come back for a fifth collegiate year, a decision that has paid off in a big way. An impressive final year in college had seen Brisker play 12 times for Penn State and amass 63 tackles, 6.0 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. This led to First-Team All-Big Ten honors and Second-Team All-American honors. After a long road to get here, it’s safe to say Brisker’s draft stock has sky rocketed – I for one can’t wait to hear his name called, fulfilling a promise he made to his late brother, Tale.
Brisker is a well-rounded safety and a combination of his height, size and speed allows him to be able to play as a free safety and strong safety. Versatility is a part of his game that I really like, he’s comfortable in the box and can fill in against power runs. He lines up best in low zones and it’s here where you will get the most out of his skills. He will follow the quarterback’s eyes very well and is aware of what’s happening around him, shows good instincts that help become a versatile player. Another part of his game that impresses me is something you rarely see from a defensive back as Brisker can play sideline to sideline, in both the passing and run game – his speed allows him to make up any leverage and meet ball carriers, with vengeance.
Brisker is a physical and aggressive player who will hit hard and what I like the most is that he plays each snap with a real hunger, as if the ball is his. A good tackler who times well and will wrap up tidily, his good level of acceleration allows him to close space well and square up and hit his man hard. He’s got better and better each year by making more tackles for a loss, this past season he racked up 6.0. Each play he is zoned in and has a great mindset of wanting to make the ball his where possible, NFL coaches will love that he’s willing to put his body on the line every play and want to make big plays.
Another area of Brisker’s game that I like is his competitive toughness, especially paired with his big hitting, combative and aggressive style of play. A player that will set the tone and he can make big plays when his teams are in need of one. His effort and good motor put him in a position to be a ball hawk.
Advanced notice: a common theme that you will notice in this section is that the negatives to Brisker’s game are also strengths. A first round talent that just needs to tidy up his strengths to become an elite safety in the NFL.
Yes yes yes, I know I have mentioned that Brisker’s aggressiveness is a strength to his game but at times it can get the better of him. Each snap his main focus is to get to the ball carrier as quickly as possible and at times he can over pursue ball carriers and take himself completely out of the game by getting too carried away, often taking bad angles and overshooting on plays.
Now for another strength, his tackling. I see no problem at all in Brisker’s tackling technique and ability. The main area of concern though is in the open field, once again it all stems from Brisker’s aggressiveness and over-eagerness, he struggles to slow himself down and will miss big play opportunities- he will need to tighten up a lot more on plays, however this an area of his game that will be fixed pretty quickly by NFL coaching staff.
Whilst Brisker has excellent footballing IQ one area that he will need attention is his occasional lapses at diagnosing routes in coverage. He can also be susceptible to biting on QB play action fakes, whilst he is quick he’s not rapid enough to make up for these mistakes.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 2
I can see the Kansas City Chiefs targeting a safety especially when you consider that Tyrann Mathieu will be a free agent in the off-season. It just makes sense. I think that we will see Mathieu stay, but the Chiefs would still be a great landing spot for Brisker as they have struggled to find a second starter at the safety spot on the back end, and would see Brisker as an instant starter – the move just makes sense for the Chiefs and Brisker.
It’s safe to say that Brisker would be an excellent acquisition for the Chiefs defense, they could use him all over the field as a real game-wrecker. Whilst safeties aren’t regarded as ‘sexy pick’ as such, if one team can afford to make this selection it’s the Chiefs.