Chris Braswell: “I Can Play The Run”

April 30th, 2024

Comparing tackle numbers.

There seems to be a growing narrative simmering on the interwebs and social media. It is that Bucs second-round pick Chris Braswell is a part-time player, a designated hitter of sorts.

Joe isn’t sure where this started. Per Nick Kelly of the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, Braswell was a starter this past season at Alabama.

(If anyone can find college stats for games started — not games played but games started — please put a link in the comments. Joe has come up empty.)

And this narrative about Braswell not being a starter seems to stem from a belief he is strictly a pass rusher only. Friday night when he was drafted, Braswell simply stated he is an every-down defender.

“Overall, I’m a very balanced player,” Braswell said. “[I] can play the run, can rush the passer, can drop into coverage, can do a lot things, so I hope to bring that to the Bucs.”

So let’s think about this for a moment. Would Bucs coach Todd Bowles, who values run defense more than anything, be OK with Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafting a guy who couldn’t play the run?

Joe’s quick research, per, shows Braswell had 42 tackles (in the SEC) last season. By comparison, YaYa Diaby had 37 tackles his last year at Louisville (in the ACC) and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had 41 his last year at Washington (in the now-defunct PAC-12).

So just based on those numbers, where they played and who they played against, which of the three was more impressive? Remember, JTS and Diaby are both starting outside linebackers for the Bucs.

Now Joe is not suggesting playing the run is Braswell’s specialty, and the Bucs need a pass rusher so damn badly that they can’t afford to be picky and keep Braswell off the field if he can’t tackle. Let’s be real: The Bucs drafted the man to put quarterbacks on their arses.

Does Joe think Braswell can play the run? Joe isn’t sure and frankly, Joe doesn’t care, so long as Braswell can punish quarterbacks.

So Joe is starting to think this line of thinking that Braswell can’t play the run is a bit thin.

22 Responses to “Chris Braswell: “I Can Play The Run””

  1. catcard202 Says:

    Joe, people seem to forget that ALA is a premier SEC program & Saban doesn’t keep guys that can’t play…As for starting, just put in context who Braswell was behind on the ALA depth chart for his college career (Will Anderson Jr – the DEF rookie of the Yr in HOU) & who he practiced against day-in day-out (a frickin’ ton of NFL offensive talent)…That should quell any negativity permeating from media/fandom circles, considering that he delivered when his chance came.

    IMO, the Bucs got an absolute steal in Braswell at #57…There’s no doubt this dude has the tools to be a force. I mean, his 99%-tile comp on is Will Anderson Jr….Go figure…Anyone with knowledge of Saban knows he has a body type/personality fit based formula in building a roster…Braswell fits the bill for violent disruptive hybrid 3-4/4-2-5 Jack OLB…Which is exactly what this roster needed coming into the draft & Licht delivered the goods!!!!

  2. ATLBUC Says:

    Wouldn’t it be something if JTS clicked and Braswell is a stud!!

  3. garro Says:

    The Bucs are way overdue. How long have we been searching the draft for that magic edge pass rusher? Try since 1976!

    Folks don’t realize that all of our best DE/Edge guys have been FA pickups. Even Selmon was not a true DE. (3-4 defense)

    Broderick Thomas I think was the closest we have come in the draft and he was not really an edge. Officially he was a linebacker.

    Go Bucs

  4. Zoocomics Says:


    To your point, I do think this guy is good fit for Bowles coverage scheme. It’s so much more than just pressure with Bowles OLBs, he disguises his coverages and asks a lot from the OLB position. This guy doesn’t appear to be a one trick pony. More importantly, if he gives us ANYTHING this season, 5-7 sacks, than we didn’t reach for this pick at #57. I know Joe’s been beating the drum for pass rush help, and I agree we need help badly there, but at pick #26 you’re most likely not getting the value you want there at def line. The idea that drafting almost any other position in the first round other than interior Oline just leaves us with more potential of drafting another JTS. I think these picks, will give us the higher probability that they will work out.

  5. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    catcard202 Says:

    Alot of good inside info “catcard202”

    Thx for the intersting perspective

  6. Zoocomics Says:

    @ATLBUC I think JTS has a role in this def, but I think he’s certified himself as a rotational guy. He’s got great size, he is versatile, athletic… he’s just a liability as every down guy.

    I remember clearly last season when we lost Shaq for at least game, that he couldn’t set the edge the way Shaq could. The team we played had no problem running the ball to that side. Shaq didn’t have the pass rush he had his previous seasons, but you saw the difference the opposing teams run game when he was in the game vs JTS.

  7. dmatt Says:

    Let’s quit hoping n wishing JTS will all of a sudden start balling n become the next JPP because we brought in Braswell. He didn’t do it when we had vets Suh,JPP, n Barrett so he for darn sure ain’t gon do it it now. If it looks, walk, n quacks like a dud, my bad, duck, then it’s a duck. JTS is damaged goods. I look forward to seeing Braswell, Ya Ya, Kancey, n yes, Markees Watts in action n not a anothe year of JTS running round like a chicken with his head cut off.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You don’t start games for Alabama as a LB without being able to play the run.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe I don’t see it explicitly stated anywhere either but on my count he had 16 college starts. 14 last year and 2 before that in his entire career.

  10. HFXBUC Says:

    Braswell is a power edge…. He’s not going to a consistent 10+ sack guy. He’s what they need to go with the speed edge guys like Ramirez and Watts. Braswell is. Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epanessa, George Karlaftis type of player which is more than fine.

  11. Steve G Says:

    At (Pay stats site)

    they have the following Stats for Games Played (G) for Started (GS)

    Year Team G GS
    2020 Alabama 0 0
    2021 Alabama 12 0
    2022 Alabama 13 0
    2023 Alabama 14 2
    Totals 39 2

  12. Joe Says:

    Steve G:

    Thank you! 👍

  13. garro Says:

    BTW Joe who is saying this guy can’t play the run again?

    Social media, in some folks minds is real media and they get their latest news there. LOL It must e true! I saw it on facebook! We have a nation of folks who will believe most anything it seems. Saban having a guy in an SEC game who cant play the run? I don’t think so.

    Go Bucs!

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I think Braswell and Diaby are clones. They match up pretty close to each other.

    Yaya Diaby vs. Chris Braswell

    40 time: 4.51 (Diaby), 4.60 (Braswell)
    Height: 6-3 (Diaby), 6-3 (Braswell)
    Weight: 263 (Diaby), 251 (Braswell)
    Hands: 10 3/8 (Diaby),9 3/8 (Braswell)
    Arm: 33 7/8 (Diaby), 33 1/4 (Braswell)
    Vertical 37 (Diaby), 33.5 (Braswell)
    Broad 120 (Diaby), 115 (Braswell)
    Last College year’s sack totals: 9 (Diaby), 8 (Braswell)
    Last College year’s tackle totals: 37 (Diaby), 42 (Braswell)

  15. BakerFan Says:

    I am with Joe…. pressuring the QB is most important for this guy to bring, if he can do all the rest, even better.

  16. A Bucs Fan Says:

    My apologies. I made a mistake after reading the article on where it states he had 2 starts behind Will Anderson and Dallas Turner and then was rewarded his final collegiate season. I thought it inferred that he started his entire senior season. It was instead referring to increased playing time and production. My fault.

  17. Alstott to Canton Says:

    As long as Braswell, Nelson, and Watts get more reps than JTS I believe we will have more production from the edge than last year. JTS can play special teams and then get traded in November for all I care, he’s holding a roster spot that someone else could fill.

  18. BillyBucco Says:

    I really don’t think the Bucs are done with additions.
    They might not be ALL IN yet, bit after they take some time to evaluate who they got in the draft and what out rotation looks like, they will make some additions, especially after cuts.
    That said, I don’t think we are where we wanna be yet defensively.
    The CB room scares me. A flyer on someone like Stephon Gilmore would be good IMO. These younger corners need to learn from someone other than Dean, because he aint the sharpest knife in the drawer.
    Another Edge guy and a ILB would be great.
    I actually think we are capable of putting up around 25-27 points a game, but hopefully the defense can be Top 10 again.

  19. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    He can play the run, but will he? We’ve had guys in the past who would take running plays off, at least until the postseason.

    Jose, while you may want a pass rusher desperately, other teams do run the ball. We will need to defend it. While I agree with you that defending the run is probably not as important in today’s NFL as Bowles believes, I do think it is more important than you do.

  20. Pewter Power Says:

    Playing the rim also includes running quarterbacks so in that sense yea I hope he can wrap up better than Devin White

  21. Jordan Says:

    Can’t be much worse in the run than JTS.

    Even if he just plays in passing situations and gets 8 sacks this year, that would be amazing.

    I think he’ll play more than that though, he definitely looks more ready to play than JTS did. Remember JTS took 2020 off due to COVID, and still had 4 sacks his rookie year.

    Maybe JTS will surprise us all this year too since he’s in a contract year.

  22. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Hopefully the Bucs learned from JTS. They knew he was a project but had just come off a SB win and returned all 22 starters. They treated the draft like a luxury instead of stocking up on the BPA.

    Hard lesson learned