Commentary

Evaluating UCLA's Brian Price

There are favorable comparisons to Ndamukong Suh here, but also two drawbacks

Updated: January 19, 2010, 3:01 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesHere's Brian Price getting at the QB this year. Can he do this consistently in the NFL?

Every Tuesday, K.C. Joyner authors a piece called "Draft Lab," where he looks at a 2010 NFL draft prospect. In this week's edition, he evaluates UCLA's Brian Price. For a full archive, click here.

Draft day in the NFL often can look similar to a highly publicized IPO stock offering on Wall Street -- just as buyer's frenzy can drive the price of a new stock to ridiculous heights, professional football franchises often can overvalue players whenever there is a run on prospects at certain positions.

The 2008 draft offered a perfect example of this. Everyone knew the Dolphins were going to select Michigan Wolverines LT Jake Long with the No. 1 pick in the draft, but Long was only one of eight highly touted left tackles. This volume of talent caused a lot of teams to believe that they could land one of these cornerstones for their roster even if they had a late first-round draft slot. That mindset was the primary reason why seven left tackles were selected from picks 12-26 in that draft, even if some of those players were considered reaches.

The problem for teams in this scenario is the same as someone purchasing the IPO stock. Just as the most successful stockbrokers set a value point on a stock that they won't go over regardless of how trading goes, NFL teams do best when they establish a value point for the prospects at the run position that they adhere to as draft day gospel.

I bring this up because today's Draft Lab subject, UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, could end up being on the precipice of that value point for many teams. He is one of those prospects who is graded quite high in some circles (No. 13 on Mel Kiper's most recent Big Board) but who is perceived as having less value in others (No. 30 in Todd McShay's initial mock draft).

That means he could end up on either side of the defensive tackle run that is almost certain to happen in this year's draft.

So which side of that potential run do the metrics and scouting-eye review say he should land on? Let's start with the numbers.


Yes, let's. However, to do that -- you must be an ESPN Insider. If you were, here's what you'd know: Kiper has this guy No. 13 on the Big Board, but McShay has him No. 30 in a mock draft. Controversy! Where does Price really fall -- or rather, where *should* he fall?