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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Brandon Mebane

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 309 | College: California
 
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Overview

After the 2006 season and based on his stellar performance during the week of Senior Bowl practices, Mebane has changed the perception that there wasn't much in the way of defensive line talent in the Pac-10.

Blessed with natural strength and explosion coming off the snap to gain leverage, Mebane proved that despite his lack of ideal height, he is more than capable of excelling in a one-gap defensive scheme. With 19.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage the last two years, the weak-side defensive tackle showed he plays with the leverage needed to stack double teams.

Mebane earned Super Prep and Prep Star All-American honors as a senior at Crenshaw High School. He was rated the No. 24 defensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com, which also ranked him No. 55 on its California Top 100 players list and No. 67 on its West Top 100 chart. The first-team Best of the West pick by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, as well as All-West Region first-team by Sports Illustrated, Mebane was also an All-State choice in 2002.

He was selected 2001 Los Angeles City Defensive Player of the Year and was a three-time All-City, All-Central City and All-League selection. Mebane recorded 75 tackles, 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries on defense and ran for five touchdowns as a fullback as a senior, adding 2002 Los Angeles Central City Player of the Year honors. As a junior, he posted 78 tackles and 19 sacks. He also performed as a shot putter in track.

Mebane saw action in four games as a true freshman in 2003 at California. He posted three solo tackles with a nine-yard sack, gaining valuable experience his first year. He earned All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention in 2004, starting the final nine games at weak-side defensive tackle when injuries hit the front wall. He totaled 25 tackles (20 solos) with 2.5 sacks, six stops for losses and a pass deflection.

Mebane was named All-Pac 10 Conference first-team and the Bears' Most Valuable Defensive Lineman in 2005, despite being slowed at midseason with a right ankle sprain that kept him out of the starting lineup against Washington State and Oregon. He started the rest of the year at weak-side tackle, posting 29 tackles (16 solos) with 9.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He led the team with seven sacks and also deflected one pass.

Mebane garnered All-American third-team and All-Pac 10 Conference first-team accolades in 2006. Despite constant double- and triple-team coverage, he went on to record a career-high 52 tackles (21 solos). He registered four sacks with 10 stops for losses, including one for a safety. He also caused and recovered a fumble.

In 41 games at California, Mebane started 31 times. He collected 109 tackles (60 solos), 14.5 sacks for minus-87 yards and 16.5 stops for losses totaling 116 yards. He caused and recovered a fumble, adding two pass deflections and a safety.

Analysis

Positives: Has a stout, squat frame with good upper body thickness, especially in the chest, broad shoulders, big bubble, thick thighs and calves, with long, muscular arms and large, strong hands … Has the sudden burst and low center of gravity to fire off the snap and consistently neutralize double-team action … Plays on his feet with great balance, anchoring firmly at the point of attack … Still needs to improve his hand usage, but when he shoots and connects with his punch, he easily pushes the blocker back on his heels … Very intense player who competes on instincts, but does need to locate the ball quicker … Low in his stance, exploding off the snap to generate sudden movement into the backfield and uses his arm swipes like clubs when defeating single blocks … Leader by example type, but teammates will listen when he gets vocal … Gives a great effort in attempts to gain penetration off the snap, as he shows good body control fighting through trash and the short-area quickness to get into the gaps … Can explode through contact and does a good job of fighting off pressure vs. combo blocks … Once he locates the ball, he closes with good urgency … Feels and fights pressure with aggression, quickly penetrating to pursue, flush out and wrap up the quarterback … Holds his ground firmly at the point of attack and shows the lateral slide to make plays on the perimeter … Hits low and hard coming off the ball and has the leg drive and hip snap to maintain leverage to stack and control … Splits and redirects well when he doesn't expose his chest and while he lacks the sustained speed to give long chase, he has the functional lateral agility to work his way down the line … Doesn't always use his hands well to neutralize blocks, but has the brute strength to dominate, if he gets a piece of his man, as he shows the hand strength to lock on, drag and jerk the opponent down … Plays on his feet and generates the hip explosion to drive through the pile and even when blockers get into his chest, he won't be contained for long … When knocked down, he bounces back quickly and does a good job of preventing the blockers from scooping him … Needs to improve his wrap-up tackling technique, but is a good collision/drag down tackler … Has the strength to lock the opponent up and will punish when his punches land … Gives an intense effort on every play and constantly tries to disrupt the flow in the opponent's backfield … Destroys interior blockers with his strong straight-line charge, using his quick swim moves to dominate on the bull rush … Flashes a quick spin move and is improving his counter moves, but it is his hand strength rather than moves that help him control blocks and disengage … Relentless and intent on getting to the quarterback, but is only effective in the short area (close, but no cigar when taking a wide loop to the pocket and is more effective slanting or taking angles) … Does a very good job of inverting single blocks.

Negatives: Lacks the ideal height you look for in two-gap scheme, as taller blockers are able to use their long reach to fend off some of his shots … Has a certified learning disability and needs more than a few reps to retain plays (good once he gets those reps, though) … May be better suited for a one-gap scheme due to his size, but he does have the lower body power needed to be effective in the two-gap … While he penetrates to flush out the quarterback, he does not extend his arms properly to get his share of sacks … Can defeat combo blocks, but needs to keep his hands active and develop more moves (relies on his punch rather than getting placement) … Generally plays with a low center of gravity, but when he gets tall in his stance moving laterally, blockers can drive him away from the ball … Shows good urgency closing on the ball, but when he takes a wide loop to the pocket, he lacks the burst to close … Needs to finish plays with better consistency (will struggle to disengage).

Compares To: KELLY GREGG-Baltimore … While not an ideal two-gap performer, Gregg and Mebane both have the strength to obliterate blockers once they get their hands on them. Neither has ideal bulk for an NFL nose guard, but both compensate with good explosion in their hips driving off the ball to push blockers back into the pocket. With his ability to tie up multiple blockers, Mebane will be a valuable performer in a one-gap alignment.

Career Notes

Ranks tied for 14th on the school's career record list with 14.5 quarterback sacks, joining Tom Canada (2001-02) and Cornell Collier (1988-91) … His seven quarterback sacks in 2005 rank tied for 15th on Cal's single-season record list.

2006 Season

All-American third-team choice by The NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com … All-Pac 10 Conference first-team selection … Played in all thirteen games, starting twelve contests at weak-side defensive tackle … Played, but did not start vs. Oregon State due to a right ankle sprain … Finished with 52 tackles (21 solos) … Ranked third on the team with ten stops for losses of 34 yards and placed fourth on the squad with four sacks for minus 21 yards … Also caused and recovered a fumble, registering one safety in the process.

2006 Game Analysis

Tennessee … Opened the season with three solo tackles … Recovered a fumble that was caused when Zack Follett stripped the ball from David Yancey at the UT 44, setting up a California 32-yard field goal with 2:48 remaining in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-OG#75-Anthony Parker.

Minnesota … Registered seven tackles with a sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage … Took down Alex Daniels for a 1-yard loss on a run off right tackle at the start of the second half … Sacked QB Bryan Cupito for a 1-yard loss with 2:51 left in the game … Head to Head Competition-OG#66-Ned Tavale.

Portland State … Posted four tackles (4 solos) with a sack and two stops for minus 9 yards … Sacked QB Rob Freeman for a 6-yard loss at the Cal 38 with 3:58 left in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-OG#65-Peter St. John.

Arizona State … Limited to just two assisted tackles before leaving the game with a right ankle sprain … Head to Head Competition-OG#63-Paul Fanaila.

Oregon State … Came off the bench, playing with his right ankle heavily taped, but still came up with three tackles … At the start of the second quarter, Mebane stopped tailback Yvenson Bernard for no gain on a third-&-1 run and then forced OSU to punt after he sacked QB Matt Moore (along with Zack Follett) for minus 10 yards on third-&-10 at the OSU 49 … Head to Head Competition-OG#67-Roy Schuening.

Oregon … Caused a fumble and delivered four tackles (2 solos) … Stripped the ball from tailback Jonathan Stewart at the Oregon 26 on a third-&-5 run with 10:53 left in the first half. Cal's Abu Ma'afala recovered the ball, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by QB Nate Longshore … Head to Head Competition-OG#77-Ma Sun Palauni.

Washington State … Held to only one assisted tackle … Head to Head Competition-OG#74-Andy Roof.

Washington … Registered six tackles with a pressure and assisted on a stop behind the line of scrimmage … Tackled Kenny James for no gain on a third-&-8 screen pass two minutes into the game … Took down Louis Rankin for no gain at the UW 20 on a third quarter rushing attempt … Made a key goal-line stand in overtime, leveling Louis Rankin for a 5-yard loss on a first-&-goal run and on the next play, he pressured Carl Bonnell out of the pocket and the QB threw a pass that was intercepted by Desmond Bishop at the Cal 5. Mebane then blocked offensive guard Clay Walker on Bishop's 79-yard return thatr helped seal Cal's 31-24 decision … Head to Head Competition-OG#63-Clay Walker.

UCLA … Held to only two assisted tackles … Head to Head Competition-OG#60-Chris Joseph.

Arizona … Posted three solo tackles, including a 6-yard sack of QB Willie Tuitama on second-&-7 at the Arizona 23 with 6:09 left in the first half … Head to Head Competition-OG#75-Joe Longacre.

Southern California … Delivered six tackles (4 solos) with 1.5 stops for minus 5 yards …

Crashed into 250-pound tailback Chauncey Washington at the line of scrimmage on an early first quarter rushing attempt … Took down Washington again for no gain four minutes into the opening frame … Washington must have had a target on his jersey, as Mebane zeroed in on the runner, tackling him for a 3-yard loss and a safety on a forst-&-10 run from the USC 3 with 0:47 left in the first quarter … Assisted in tackling frosh phenom C.J. Gable for a 4-yard loss on a mid second quarter run … Washington was stopped for no gain for the third time in the game when Mebane leveled the runner at the USC 45 with 7:37 left on the clock … Head to Head Competition-OG#66-Chilo Rachal.

Stanford … Credited with a season-high nine tackles (7 assists), adding a 3-yard sack and 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage … On the game's first play from scrimmage, Mebane took down Anthony Kimble for a 1-yard loss on a run around left end … He assisted in sacking QB T.C. Ostrander for a 7-yard loss on fourth-&-13 to end that 15-play, 48-yard game-opening series … Assisted in stopping Toby Gerhart for a 1-yard loss on a third quarter run off right tackle … Tackled Anthony Kimble for a 1-yard loss on a carry over left guard with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition-OG#79-Jon Cochran.

Texas A&M (Holiday Bowl) … Closed out his career with a pair of tackles … Head to Head Competition-OG#77-Grant Dickey.

2005 Season

All-Pac 10 Conference first-team selection … Named the team's Most Valuable Defensive Lineman … Despite starting ten games and playing in all twelve contests, Mebane was slowed at midseason by a right ankle sprain that limited him to reserve duties in the Washington State and Oregon clashes … Recorded just 29 tackles (16 solos), but led the team with seven sacks for minus 44 yards and ranked third on the squad with 9.5 stops for losses of 49 yards … Also deflected one pass.

2005 Game Analysis

Sacramento State … Tackled tailback Ryan Mole for a 2-yard loss and had a 5-yard sack on QB Chris Hurd while making three solo tackles in the season opener.

Washington … Sacked QB Isaiah Stanback for minus 2 yards and posted three tackles.

Illinois … Followed with an 8-yard sack of QB Tim Brasic.

New Mexico State … Registered a season-high seven tackles (6 solos), deflected one pass and sacked QB Joey Vincent for a 7-yard loss.

Oregon State … Mebane's only tackle was good for a 3-yard sack of QB Matt Moore.

Oregon … Assisted in sacking QB Brady Leaf for a 5-yard loss on a third-&-10 play in the third quarter, forcing the Ducks to punt … Also stopped Terrence Whitehead for a 2-yard loss on a third quarter rushing attempt, finishing the day with four tackles.

Stanford … Made four tackles (2 solos) … Sacked QB Trent Edwards for a 10-yard loss at the start of the third quarter … With less than four minutes left in that frame, Mebane joined Mike Kane in sacking QB T.C. Ostrander for a 5-yard loss at the Stanford 32.

Brigham Young (Las Vegas Bowl) … Closed out the season with two tackles and 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including assisting on a 6-yard sack of QB John Beck.

2004 Season

Started the final nine games at weak-side defensive tackle, as the coaches shifted around the defensive line after end Steve Kelly was lost for the season with a knee injury and Tom Sverchek slid over from weak-side tackle to the left end position, opening up a spot for Mebane … Recorded 25 tackles (20 solos) with 2.5 sacks for minus 13 yards and six stops for minus 24 yards … Also deflected one pass.

2004 Game Analysis

In the UCLA clash, Mebane posted six tackles, five of them solo and 2.5 stops for losses of 9 yards … In his first start at Southern California, Mebane had 1.5 sacks for a loss of 8 yards … His other sack came at Arizona, a 5-yard loss and also knocked down a pass in that game … Registered four tackles at Air Force.

2003 Season

Gained valuable game experience as a true freshman, appearing in four contests … Made three solo tackles … Two of his stops came vs. Oregon State, while his lone sack of the campaign occurred in Tempe vs. Andrew Walter for a 9-yard loss vs. Arizona State.

Injury Report

2005: Missed the final three quarters vs. Oregon State (10/15) and saw limited reserve action the following two weeks vs. Washington State and Oregon due to a right ankle sprain.

2006: Did not start vs. Oregon State (9/30) and missed the second half vs. Arizona State (9/23) with a right ankle sprain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 5.09 in the 40-yard dash … 375-pound bench press … 515-pound squat … 324-pound power clean … 25-inch vertical jump … 4.41 20-yard shuttle … 33-inch arm length … 10 5/8-inch hands … Right-handed … 5/25 Wonderlic score.

High School

Attended Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Robert Garrett … Earned Super Prep and Prep Star All-American honors as a senior … Rated the No. 24 defensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com, which also ranked him No. 55 on its California Top 100 players list and No. 67 on its West Top 100 chart … The first-team Best of the West pick by the Long Beach Press-Telegram, as well as All-West Region first-team by Sports Illustrated, Mebane was also an All-State choice in 2002 … Selected 2001 Los Angeles City Defensive Player of the Year and was a three-time All-City, All-Central City and All-League selection … Recorded 75 tackles, 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries on defense and ran for five touchdowns as a fullback as a senior, adding 2002 Los Angeles Central City Player of the Year honors … As a junior, he posted 78 tackles and 19 sacks. He also performed as a shot putter in track.

Personal

Social Welfare major … Son of Joyce and Walter Mebane … Born 1/15/85 … Resides in Los Angeles, California.

 
 

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