Ryan Tolar will remember Bryan Price. Price owned Tolar all game. Late in the third, the frustration bubbled over and a de-helmeted Tolar looked ready to provoke a fight with Price after the play had ended. He thought better, and the conflict fizzled.
Washington conducted three more drives before losing. It came very close to winning, but Erik Folk kicked a Frisbee from the 21. That's football. UCLA was a pretty bad team and this a pretty hard loss for the Huskies.
I'll include the full play-by-play after the jump, but first, my full impressions after scouting an entire game.
Price sacked Jake Locker on a double "A" gap blitz. The protection was screwed from the start. Price stormed in untouched and lunged for Locker's feet, tripping him before he could complete his backpedal. It was the quintessential Brian Price play. He jumped off the snap and was in the backfield in an instant. This is the skill that makes Price a pro prospect.
I worry it is the only skill that makes Price a pro prospect. On a later play, Price was double-teamed but for once able to push that double team back. Locker scrambled from the pocket. TV loves Locker and so Locker's excellence bought multiple angles of Price. I saw him from the standard broadcast angle. I saw him from the side. Most importantly, I saw him from the front. Having achieved gap penetration and in an ideal spot between blockers, Price exhibited absolutely no pass rush moves. No swim, no rip, no club, no handwork but a punch and a push.
Price has a narrow path to success in the NFL. Well, a couple, but back to that in a second. The player Price is now has one path to success in the NFL: He must continue to win the timing battle off the snap and bull NFL linemen. His lateral movement is ok, but hardly standout. He exhibits no pass rush arsenal. His closing speed is unremarkable. He is not high motor. He shows little awareness. He ran himself out of so many plays it almost became comical. It was comical. He face planted twice. Twice. And both times, because he was charging against air.
That path is beset by landmines. In a critical down in the fourth quarter, Washington down one, third and ten at the UCLA 20, Price jumped offside. Third and five from the UCLA 15. On the next play, now more critical than the previous, he was slow off the snap and easily handled by Tolar. Edge rush arrived and Locker tripped attempting to step up, but Price was MIA.
Few college offenses screw with the snap count. Talent is too unrefined and offensive lines too discontinuous to risk false starts and confusion. Pro teams will target Price's aggression and rob him of his vital first step. Maybe not always, maybe even not often, but enough, and right now, Price has no answer. When he couldn't time the snap, he couldn't bull rush, and when he couldn't bull rush, he had no other means of separating.
Price is young. He turns 21 April 10. He's accomplished for that age. Price has time to develop secondary skills. His first step is a great weapon, and it won't go away even if the pro game diminishes it. He has many skills to develop. Virtually all of them. If he stayed at UCLA, he could develop those skills against inferior competition. Given his draft stock, he may have to develop those skills while starting in the NFL. And maybe he will.
I fear that if he's fixed at 285, it won't matter. Very few defensive tackles play at that weight. Unlike a player like Stephen Paea who is broad shouldered and rangy, Price looks squat, thick and round. He looks filled out already. To succeed at 285, Price would either have to be an incredible athlete or incredibly skilled. His Combine weigh in matters, but whatever his weight, I see too many pitfalls and not enough upside to endorse Seattle drafting Brian Price.
1. 1st and 10 at WASH 20 Chris Polk rush for 6 yards to the Wash 26.
RDT, 1-tech. Bursts into backfield, overpursues, out of play.
2. 2nd and 4 at WASH 26 Chris Polk rush for 5 yards to the Wash 31 for a 1ST down.
RDT, 1-tech. Unblocked, turns right and briefly pursues Polk.
3. 1st and 10 at WASH 31 Jake Locker pass incomplete.
LDT, 3-tech. Double teamed off snap. Stopped.
4. 2nd and 10 at WASH 31 Jake Locker pass incomplete.
LDT, 3-tech. Good jump, runs into pile, quick pass, does not factor.
5. 3rd and 10 at WASH 31 Jake Locker sacked by Brian Price for a loss of 3 yards to the Wash 28.
NT, shaded right. UCLA runs a double "A" gap blitz attacking the left "A" gap. Price runs untouched through the right "A" gap, lunges and ankle tackles Locker during his backpedal.
1. 1st and 10 at WASH 37 Jake Locker pass incomplete.
LDT, 3-tech. The left defensive end drops into cover and Price assumes a wide-angled pass rush. He runs unblocked into the backfield, but is, of all things, stonewalled by Chris Polk.
LDT, 1-tech. Stunts left, but does not factor on another quick pass.
RDT, 1-tech. Loops to the outside on a stunt, looks smooth in his lateral movement but also remarkably slow. He gets a step on Senio Kelemente and is at Kelemente's outside shoulder and bearing down on Locker as Locker passes.
4. 1st and 10 at UCLA 45 Chris Polk rush for 14 yards to the UCLA 31 for a 1ST down.
5. 1st and 10 at UCLA 31 Chris Polk rush for a loss of 6 yards to the UCLA 37.
6. 2nd and 16 at UCLA 37 Jake Locker rush for 13 yards to the UCLA 24.
LDT, 1-tech. Price forces back, splits double team. Locker scrambles left and away from Price. Price is tripped and takes a hard, spinning tumble towards the turf.
8. 1st and 10 at UCLA 20 Jake Locker pass incomplete.
9. 2nd and 10 at UCLA 20 Jake Locker pass incomplete.
RDT, 1-tech. UCLA blitzes. Price is lost in the pile and Locker throws before Price can escape.
10. 3rd and 10 at UCLA 20 UCLA penalty 5 yard Offside Defense accepted.
11. 3rd and 5 at UCLA 15 Jake Locker sacked by Team for a loss of 6 yards to the UCLA 21.
RDT, 1-tech. Slow off the snap and easily handled by center Ryan Tolar. Edge rush attacks a shaky looking Locker. He trips attempting to step up/scramble.
(Missed field goal)
RDT, 1-tech. Loops around an inside stunt, again showing decent lateral movement, but does not factor. Price is smooth but slow when moving at angles.
LDT, 1-tech. Rocks Tolar , nearly bending him in half and pushing him over, but he still can't separate and Locker steps up and passes unharassed.
3. 1st and 10 at WASH 35 Chris Polk rush for 5 yards to the Wash 40.
RDT, 3-tech. The right defensive end drops into cover. Price explodes, swims the air and flies forward onto his face. The right tackle cut blocks, but it does not look he cut blocks Price. I think Price just got ahead of himself.
4. 2nd and 5 at WASH 40 Jake Locker rush for 4 yards to the Wash 44.
5. 3rd and 1 at WASH 44 Chris Polk rush for 3 yards to the Wash 47 for a 1ST down.
LDT, 3-tech. Stood up, turned and thrown down by the right tackle.
LDT, 3-tech. DT stunt, does not factor.
7. 2nd and 3 at UCLA 46 Jake Locker pass intercepted by Rahim Moore at the UCLA 19, returned for 7 yards to the UCLA 26.
LDT, 3-tech. Double teamed. Does not factor.