Temple is Temple tough for a reason. When it comes to Temple defenders and the NFL Draft there has been success. Haason Reddick, Rock Ya-Sin, Matt Ioannidis, Tavon Young, and most notably Muhammad Wilkerson all reigned from Temple University. This year, linebacker Shaun Bradley will look to follow in their footsteps. While he may be more of a late round pick, he may be someone that the Los Angeles Rams have their eyes on.
The Owls give the top-9 jersey numbers to the nine toughest players on the team. Bradley was awarded a single-digit number as a junior and never looked back. He started full-time as a senior and earned second-team All-AAC. Bradley helped the Owls to a big win against Maryland, leading a goal-line stop to beat the Terps. As a senior he finished with a career high 87 tackles with an impressive 62 solo.
Bradley has been a leader on the Temple defense for the past three seasons with an impressive solo-tackle rate. The linebacker doesn’t wait for help and he doesn’t need it. He’s a strong player that can impose his will on a ball carrier. His playmaking ability and instincts could make him a steal and his ability to make tackles, drop back into pass coverage and quickness could get him playing time. Given that he’s going to be a late-round pick, special teams is going to be important and Bradley has special teams experience. Due to his small size, he fits best in a 3-4. He has elite speed as he ran a 4.51-40 at the combine with a 20-yard split of 2.64 and a 10-yard split of 1.59. Bradley doesn’t have the physical traits, but he has all the intangibles that could make for a late-round diamond.
He’s severely undersized at just 6’0 with 31” arms. He’s not the most athletic player and doesn’t have the instincts or play recognition ability to make up for it.
Three Plays on Tape
This is the most impressive play by Bradley from this season. He correctly diagnoses the play, shoots the gap, and stops Antohony McFarland in the backfield on fourth down at the goal line. These are the types of plays that Bradley is capable of making.
Here we get into the negative of Bradley. He gets sucked into the play action and goes all the way to tackling the running back rather than recovering. This allows the receiver to get open in the gap in the middle of the field.
Bradley againt wrongly diagnoses where the play is going to go and leaves his gap. Because of this, instead of a 2-3 yard gain, in turns into a touchdown by Memphis. Bradley anticipates the run to go more outside rather than inside. He shoots the gap and not only gets handles by the offensive lineman, but ends up creating a hole for the running back.
Bradley is not a player that a team is drafting to start right away. This is a player that will play one, if not two full years on special teams before working his way into a role on defense, if he ever does. He has serious size issues, but his intangibles and playmaking ability make him an intriguing prospect. He’s a developmental prospect that hopefully works his way onto the field by year three.
Draft Grade: 7th-UDFA
Bradley is a player that a team will need to take a chance on late and hope that it pays off. There is little doubt that he’ll be able to contribute on special teams right away. However, there is concern if he will ever contribute on defense given his size and athletic deficiencies. If he can be developed, he could turn into a leader on a defense.