2017 NFL Draft

player photo

Ron Brace

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 330 | College: Boston College
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

Brace might not dazzle you in the statistical department, but he has played a critical role to the success of the team in shutting down the run the last two years. With his wide body, long wing span and impressive power, he can terrorize guards and centers in the trenches. What he offers an NFL team is an athlete who can play the three-technique (under-tackle) position in a 4-3 alignment or easily handle multiple blockers as a nose guard in a 3-4 scheme.

As a junior, he led a front wall that ranked second in the nation, as the Eagles allowed only 75.50 yards per game on the ground. During his senior campaign, he teamed with fellow tackle B.J. Raji to pace a unit that led the Atlantic Coast Conference in rush defense (91.21 ypg, seventh in the NCAA) and total defense (268.14 ypg, ranked fifth nationally). Brace and Raji combined for 11 of the team's 35 sacks (31.43 percent) and 27 of the Eagles' 108 tackles behind the line of scrimmage (25.0 percent).

Brace excelled in football and track at Burncoat High School. He earned All-State and Worcester Telegram & Gazette All-Star honors in 2003. The defensive lineman was a three-time Inter-High All-Star choice and captured team MVP recognition as a senior. The team captain also played in the 2004 Massachusetts Shriners Football Classic. He excelled as a member of Burncoat's track and field team, winning the state shot put title in 2003 and 2004.

Brace enrolled at Boston College, spending the 2004 season playing on the scout team. He appeared in eight games in 2005, starting vs. Wake Forest, as he finished with 11 tackles (6 solos) with a stop for a loss. The following season, he started 11 times at the left defensive tackle position. He registered 20 tackles (11 solos) that included 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and also recovered a fumble.

As a junior, Brace was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention. He was in on just 27 tackles (14 solos), but ranked third on the squad with 7.5 stops for losses, including 2.5 sacks. He was awarded the Nugent Family Football Scholarship before his final season.

Brace earned All-ACC second-team honors in 2008. He extended his starting string to 37 games, producing 27 tackles (19 solos) from his left defensive tackle position. He finished second on the team with eleven stops behind the line of scrimmage, as he also caused a fumble and recorded a career-high three sacks.


Positives: Square-framed, naturally large man. Surprising initial quickness off the snap to disrupt the play before it has a chance to begin. Good lateral quickness to slide down the line. Good use of hands to slap away the blockers' attempts to control him. Good overall strength, especially in his lower body, to hold up at the point. Can anchor against the double-team and flashes the ability to split. Able to close if given a free lane. Recognizes the action quickly and can slide off the block onto the runner as he goes by. Versatile defender capable of projecting as a zero-, one- or three-technique at the next level.

Negatives: Only "phone booth" quickness. Requires a free lane to close on the quarterback and isn't going to provide significant interior pass rush. Marginal effort and ability in pursuit. Flanked by a better prospect in Raji and often faces only one blocker. Struggled with a recurring back injury in 2008. Concern over back injury only heightened considering his heavy build and potential to allow his weight to get out of control.

Compares To: MAAKE KEMOEATU-Carolina -- Like Kemoeatu, Brace has surprising athleticism for a big man, but lacks the foot speed to make plays in long pursuit. Playing in a phone booth, he does a good job of clogging the rush lanes. While he can play in a classic 4-3 alignment, he is much more effective handling action in the middle of the field. With so many teams utilizing the 3-4 defensive alignment in 2009, he is more enticing as a nose guard.

Scouting Report


Body Structure: Brace has a thick, compact frame, but has battled weight issues in the past. He has broad shoulders, thick lower body, ideal arm length and large hands. He shows good lower body thickness to anchor firmly, but might be better suited losing some pounds, as the added girth has led to some back problems in 2008.

Athletic Ability: Brace has very good strength and a short-area burst to push the pocket and provides a surge in the "A' gap coming off the ball. He has that wide frame that makes it surprising how well he is able to slide down the line. He shows the ability to bounce off the ground when cut-blocked and shows urgency in his play. He has good size and strength, displaying above average lateral quickness and agility, good balance and body control. He is quick coming off the snap, but only when working between tackles, as his feet will die when he has to generate long distance pursuits. He shows better quickness on the field than with a stopwatch on him, but it is still not enough for him to give chase on the sidelines (best when parked at the line), making him a better fit for the two-gap. GRADE: 6.2

Football Sense: Brace has no problems locating the ball in the backfield. He can learn football with no problems, showing good field vision and instincts. He plays with good urgency and quickly digests plays. He has a feel for game situations and play calls. He is the type that can learn and transfer to the field. GRADE: 6.1

Character: Brace is a responsible person, which surprised many teams how unprepared he was for the agility tests at the NFL Combine. He is a good person with no known off-field problems. He is a likeable sort who is respected, dependable and coachable. He is starting to develop leadership qualities and is the type that will go full speed in practice. GRADE: 6.0

Competitiveness: Brace shows good urgency on the field, but his motor will shut down late in games, more due to stamina and back issues than a lack of desire. He could be more aggressive on the field, but does play with effective intensity. He sometimes gets a little overzealous in his play, which takes him out of the action. GRADE: 5.5

Work Habits: Brace is a good worker on the practice field, but needs to get himself in better condition. He had one of the worst performances of any defensive tackle at the NFL Combine, leading to people questioning his work ethic. He must control his weight, as this could be the culprit for his 2008 back problems. He also must work on improving his tackling technique, as he does not always play with leverage and has just marginal-to-adequate hand usage. GRADE: 5.2


Explosion/Pursuit: Brace has a good initial step off the line and uses his frame well to get into the gaps and clog the rush lanes. He did not see as much double-team activity in 2008 with B.J. Raji back in the lineup, and that allowed him to be free often to make plays in the backfield. He has decent lateral agility, especially for a player his size. He shows strength on his first step and that allows him to disrupt the blocking schemes. He is not really explosive off the ball, but he has enough quickness to get an edge on the blocker's shoulder. He shows adequate athleticism, but needs to get his hands down better vs. low blocks to stay up and play on his feet. He has a quick first step off the line of scrimmage and has the change of direction agility to string plays out, as he takes advantage of his size to let him get advantage facing up to the blocker. GRADE: 5.4

Strength at Point: Brace has good power, using his bulk and strength to sit and anchor at the point. He has the strength to stand up offensive guards and hold his ground to stuff at the point of attack, but a player his size should not try to finesse blockers as much as he does when working in-line rather than engage. He generally stays on feet well, but can be cut by good low blocks. However, he does pop up quickly. He really did not have to deal with much double-team action playing alongside B.J. Raji, but showed in the past he could split combo blocks. When he gets too high in his stance, he drops his arms and can be pushed back. GRADE: 6.8

Use of Hands: Brace flashes the ability to jolt, torque and toss the blocker, but needs to do this with more consistency. He shows good hand usage and quickness on pass plays, but must be more active with his hands in order to shock and separate off blocks. When he extends his hands properly, he can keep defenders away from body. You do see that he is capable of pulling, jerking and holding to create a pile, but he has to control the point on a more consistent basis. GRADE: 5.7

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: For a big man, Brace has the lateral agility to move and run down the line of scrimmage. He can chase and run down ball carriers in the backfield, but lacks the speed and balance to get out on the corner to make plays vs. the outside run. When he uses his hand extension, he can avoid low traffic and make plays in pursuit. He has very good lateral quickness and flexibility in his hips. His change of direction skills let him work down line and make a play with not a lot of wasted motion, but more productive playing in a phone booth. GRADE: 6.4

Tackling Ability: Brace is a solid tackler when he attempts to face up and wrap, as he can bring his hips and drive through ball carriers. When he gets a hand on the runners, he will usually get them down. He has the functional strength to make arm tackles and when trying to plug the inside rush lanes, he has the ability to punish the ball carrier. He just needs to show more consistency in gaining position, as his momentum sometimes takes him out of the play. GRADE: 6.1

Run Defense: Brace does a good job of controlling "A" gap action, but is best taking on blockers at the line of scrimmage rather than doing so in long pursuit. He needs to improve his hand usage, as he is able to stuff the run but will struggle to shed. He has the functional balance and body control to stay up and play on his feet. He needs to do a better job of protecting his legs on the move, but is an aggressive tackler. He breaks down and wraps up with functional strength. GRADE: 7.2

Pass Rush: When watching game film, it is pleasantly surprising how a wide-body type like Brace can get penetration and a surge playing in the phone booth. He might lack pass rush moves, but has a nifty spin, twisting his body well. He has adequate quickness off the ball and when he uses his hands and flips his hips, he can dip and bend the corner. He does have the change of direction agility to take good angles in pursuit and the short-area speed to gain inside penetration, but unless the quarterback is right in front of him he will get hung up on blocks trying to sift through trash. GRADE: 5.0

Closing on the QB: Brace has a good short-area burst and acceleration, but you don't see him let loose in long pursuit. He will give a good can chase from the backside, but he does over-pursue some when he fails to plant and redirect. With just one QB pressure in 49 games, opposing quarterbacks won't be flushed out of the pocket by him. GRADE: 4.9

Instincts/Recognition: Brace has good initial reactions and awareness. He reads hats well and plays on his feet with good base and body balance. He can step over trash, but needs to do a better job of using his hands to push blockers away. While athletic, he does not do a great job of protecting legs on the move and can be cut blocked when he fails to recognize blocking schemes. GRADE: 6.4

Compares To: MAAKE KEMOEATU-Carolina -- Like Kemoeatu, Brace has surprising athleticism for a big man, but lacks the foot speed to make plays in long pursuit. Playing in a phone booth, he does a good job of clogging the rush lanes. While he can play in a classic 4-3 alignment, he is much more effective handling action in the middle of the field. With so many teams utilizing the 3-4 defensive alignment in 2009, he is more enticing as a nose guard.


--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Brace started his final 37 games, playing in 49 contests (40 total starts) … Recorded 85 tackles (50 solos), as he registered 5.5 sacks for minus 32 yards, adding 23 stops for losses of 65 yards and one quarterback pressure … Also caused and recovered a fumble.

2008 Season

All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team selection … Extending his consecutive start string to 37 games, starting all fourteen contests … Helped the team lead the ACC and rank seventh in the nation in rush defense, allowing only 91.21 yards per game … The team also led the league and ranked fifth nationally in total defense (268.14 ypg) … Collected 27 tackles (19 solos) with a career-high three sacks for minus 12 yards, as he finished second on the squad with eleven stops for losses totaling 25 yards … Also caused one fumble.

2008 Game Analysis

Kent State … The Boston College defense limited Kent State to 260 total yards in the Eagles' 21-0 shutout win over the Golden Flashes … Brace contributed to the victory with four tackles (2 solos), including one tackle behind the line of scrimmage … Early in the first quarter, Kent State quarter-back Julian Edelman was able to pick up a first down on 3rd-&-1, rushing for 3 yards before Brace could bring him down at the Golden Flashes' 16-yard line … A few minutes before halftime, Brace limited Edelman to just 3 yards on a 2nd-&-21 rushing attempt … In the second half, Brace was credited with two tackles, stopping Edelman 1-yard behind the line of scrimmage in the third quarter and limiting tailback Andre Flowers to 4 yards on a fourth-quarter rushing attempt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#76-Mike Roder (6:04-310).

Georgia Tech … Although the Eagles ultimately fell to the Yellow Jackets, 19-16, in their ACC opener, the defensive could be proud of their performance, as it allowed Georgia Tech's vaunted rushing attack only 162 yards on the ground and 235 yards overall … Brace finished the contest with two tackles (1 solo), including one tackle for loss … With 3:21 remaining in the first half, Brace brought down running back Jonathan Dwyer 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage … Near the end of the third quarter, the BC defensive tackle limited Dwyer to just 1 yard on a 2nd-&-5 rushing attempt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#70-Joseph Gilbert (6:04-288).

Central Florida … Brace registered no stats vs. Central Florida … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#77-Nick Pieschel (6:07-298).

Rhode Island … The left defensive tackle contributed one solo tackle in Boston College's decisive 42-0 victory over Rhode Island, a game in which the Eagle defense held the Ram offense to just 53 rushing yards … At the 10:53 mark in the second quarter, Brace stopped tailback Jimmy Hughes after a 2-yard rush to the Rhode Island 18-yard line … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#77-Carl Daniel (6:02-295).

North Carolina State … Boston College quarterback Chris Crane rushed around left tackle for a 13-yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the game to give the Eagles a 38-31 victory over N.C. State … The BC defense limited the Wolfpack to just 35 yards on the ground and 253 yards overall, getting one solo tackle for loss from stout defensive tackle Ron Brace … During the opening minute of the second half, Brace dropped N.C. State tailback Andre Brown 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#60-Meares Green (6:04-306).

Virginia Tech … The Boston College defense limited the Hokies to a season-low 240 total yards to beat No. 17 Virginia Tech, 28-23 … Brace contributed to the fine defensive effort with three tackles (1 solo) … During Tech's first drive of the second half, Brace tackled Hokie tailback Darren Evans after a 1-yard pickup … Early in the fourth quarter, Hokie quarterback Tyrod Taylor picked up 1 yard on 4th-&-1 before Brace wrapped him up, and, later in the drive, the defensive tackle stopped Virginia Tech's Josh Oglesby at the BC 33-yard line, limiting the running back to a 1-yard reception … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#70-Sergio Render (6:03-308).

North Carolina … Brace wasted little time making his presence felt vs. UNC, sacking quarterback Cameron Sexton on the Tar Heels' third play of the game and forcing the signal-caller to fumble the ball, which was picked up by BC cornerback Kevin Akins and returned 13 yards for a touchdown. It wouldn't be enough, however, as UNC beat the Eagles in Chapel Hill, 45-24 … Brace finished the game with two solo tackles, including a sack, a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble … Midway through the first quarter, on 3rd-&-2 from the UNC 26-yard line, Sexton dropped back to pass but was hit 6 yards in the backfield by Brace, who caused the ball to come loose, resulting in a 13-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Akins, giving BC a 10-0 lead … Early in the second quarter, Brace tackled tailback Ryan Houston at the BC 14-yard line for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-&-1, forcing the Tar Heels to settle for a 32-yard field goal … Head-to-Head Competition: Alan Pelc (6:06-325)-One holding penalty.

Clemson … The Boston College defense continued its trend of being stout vs. the run, limiting Clemson's talented backfield to just 87 yards on the ground, but the same can't be said about the Eagles' pass defense, which gave up 252 passing yards in its 27-21 loss to the Tigers … Brace finished the game with two tackles, including a 5-yard sack … Early in the fourth quarter, on a 3rd-&-10 play from Clemson's 40-yard line, Tiger quarterback Cullen Harper was sacked 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage by Brace while dropping back to pass, forcing Clemson to punt, which was blocked by BC's Justin Jarvis and returned 25 yards for a touchdown by Roderick Rollins … Later in the fourth quarter, Brace limited Clemson tailback James Davis to 1 yard on a rushing attempt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#62-Mason Cloy (6:03-310).

Notre Dame … The Eagle defense limited Notre Dame to just 66 rushing yards and intercepted quarterback Jimmy Clausen four times to extend Boston College's win streak over the Fighting Irish to six games, shutting out the Boys from South Bend, 17-0 … Brace contributed to the win with two solo tackles … On Notre Dame's first drive of the game, Irish wide receiver Michael Floyd picked up only 2 yards after catching a pass from Clausen before big Ron Brace pulled him down … With 5:40 remaining in the game, Brace tackled Clausen after the quarterback rushed for 5 yards on a 1st-&-10 play from BC's 40-yard line … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#78-Trevor Robinson (6:05-306).

Florida State … The senior defensive tackle registered one solo tackle as part of a Eagle defense that limited ACC-rival Florida State to just 73 rushing yards and picked off quarterback Christian Ponder three times in BC's 27-17 win … With 6:53 remaining in the first quarter, FSU tailback Antone Smith was tackled by Brace for a 2-yard loss while rushing over right guard … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#79-David Spurlock (6:05-286).

Wake Forest … Wake Forest's offense could muster only 191 total yards vs. Boston College's stout defense, and Eagle backup quarterback Dominique Davis found the end zone on a quarterback sneak with just 1:12 remaining in the ball game, giving BC a 24-21 victory over the Demon Deacons … Brace tallied two tackles (1 solo), including a sack and a tackle for loss, in the game … On Wake Forest's first drive of the game, Demon Deacon quarterback Riley Skinner was sacked by Brace for a 3-yard loss at their own 5-yard line … Midway through the third quarter, Brace stopped Wake Forest tailback Brandon Pendergrass 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage on a rushing attempt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#61-Barrett McMillan (6:03-285).

Maryland … Backup quarterback Billy Flutie's 9-yard touchdown toss on a fake field goal attempt helped give Boston College a 28-21 victory over Maryland and secure a spot in the ACC Championship game … Brace contributed one solo tackle to the Eagle defense, which limited the Terrapins to -6 yards on the ground … Just before halftime, Brace tackled Da'Rel Scott after the running back was a able to convert a 1st-&-10 play at Maryland's 18-yard line with a 10-yard reception … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#72-Phil Costa (6:03-300).

Virginia Tech (ACC Championship) … After playing strong vs. the run all season, the Boston College defense yielded 150 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in its disappointing 30-12 loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game … Brace finished the contest with four tackles (3 solos) … Brace was credited with three tackles in the third quarter, including stopping Hokie tailback Darren Evans after rushes of 1 and 2 yards and dropping Tyrod Taylor for a 2-yard loss on a quarterback draw on third down, forcing Virginia Tech to punt … In the fourth quarter, Brace tackled Hokie tailback Josh Oglesby after a 1-yard pickup on a rushing attempt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#70-Sergio Render (6:03-308)-One holding penalty.

Vanderbilt (Music City Bowl) … Boston College's streak of eight-straight bowl victories came to end when Vandy's Bryant Hahnfeldt kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining in the contest to secure the Commodores' 16-14 victory over the Eagles … Despite the loss, the Eagle defense played a strong game, limiting Vandy to just 79 yards on the ground and 200 yards overall, with Brace contributing two solo tackles to the cause … Early in the first quarter, Vandy tailback Jared Hawkins was tackled by Brace at the BC 44-yard line for a 2-yard loss … Early in the fourth quarter, Brace stopped Vandy quarterback Larry Smith for no gain on a rushing attempt … Head-to-Head Competition: OG#66-Eric Hensley (6:06-312).

2007 Season

Brace was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention … Started all fourteen games at left defensive tackle, recording 27 tackles (14 solos) with 2.5 sacks for minus 20 yards and 7.5 stops for losses totaling 32 yards … Also registered one QB pressure … Led a front line that helped the team lead the conference and rank second in the nation in rush defense, allowing just 75.50 yards per game … The Eagles also finishing 19th nationally in total defense, giving up only 329.36 yards per game.

2007 Game Analysis

Registered two tackles in the season opener vs. Wake Forest … Made a stop for a 4-yard loss vs. North Carolina State and registered three solo hits, including his first career sack, good for 7 yards vs. Georgia Tech … Had a stop behind the line of scrimmage in the Massachusetts clash and a 5-yard sack vs. Bowling Green … Sacked QB Jimmy Clausen for an 8-yard loss vs. Notre Dame and was in on two solo stops, including one for a loss vs. Florida State … Made four tackles with a stop behind the line of scrimmage in the Maryland clash … Added a stop for a 5-yard loss vs. Miami and two tackles vs. Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game … Posted two more tackles and a pressure vs. Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl.

2006 Season

Brace took over left defensive tackle duties, starting eleven games while coming off the bench vs. Brigham Young and Maine … Finished with 20 tackles (11 solos) … Registered 3.5 stops for losses of 6 yards and recovered a fumble.

2006 Game Analysis

Made one solo tackle vs. Central Michigan … Had one solo stop vs. Clemson and registered three solo tackles vs. Maine … Added one solo tackle in win over Virginia Tech and made three tackles (two solos) at Wake Forest … Delivered one tackle including a stop for a loss vs. Duke … Followed with one stop vs. Maryland and delivered four stops (three solo) with a stop behind the line of scrimmage at Miami … Made a season-high five tackles (three solos), including a stop for a loss and recovered one fumble in the Meineke Car Care Bowl vs. Navy.

2005 Season

Appeared in eight games, starting at left defensive tackle vs. Wake Forest … Managed to make eleven tackles (6 solos) with a stop for a 2-yard loss … Had an assisted tackle in his college debut vs. Brigham Young and two hits vs. Wake Forest … Posted a season-high three tackles, including a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Maryland.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2007: Left the Florida State game twice (11/03) with back spasms.

2008: Bothered by back problems that limited him in August camp … Was helped off the field vs. Georgia Tech (9/15) due to back problems … Injured his toe, missing the bulk of the second half vs. Maryland (11/29).

Agility Tests

Combine: 5.48 in the 40-yard dash … 1.88 10-yard dash … 3.15 20-yard dash … 4.73 20-yard shuttle … 8.15 three-cone drill … 28-inch vertical jump … 8'3" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times … 34-inch arm length … 9 7/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Burncoat (Worcester, Mass.) High School, playing football for head coach Chris Moriarty … Earned All-State and Worcester Telegram & Gazette All-Star honors in 2003 … The defensive lineman was a three-time Inter-High All-Star choice and captured team MVP recognition as a senior … The team captain also played in the 2004 Massachusetts Shriners Football Classic … Excelled as a member of Burncoat's track and field team, winning the state shot put title in 2003 and 2004.


Psychology major, enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences … Son of Vonda Lewis and Ronald Brace, Jr … Born Ronald Jeffery Brace III on 12/18/86 … Resides in Springfield, Massachusetts.


CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike Heathered Royal Denver Broncos Historic Logo Tri-Blend T-Shirt

NFL Nike Gear
Get your favorite team today!
Shop Now