Lions 2024 NFL draft report: Beau Brade, Safety, Maryland

USA Today

It is finally draft season for Lions fans.

Brad Holmes and his front office have proven they are very capable of putting together great draft classes. They have had major hits on every day of the draft, but especially on Day Two. This roster isn’t in desperate need of much because of his work, but they do have some positions that need to be addressed.

This offseason, they should be focusing on getting better play out of their defensive backs, adding depth on the defensive line, and building out the wide receiver room.

These scouting reports should introduce you to some of the names that Lions fans could hear during the three days of the NFL Draft.

Background

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 208
  • 4th Year Senior
  • Played Entire College Career at Maryland
  • 3-Star Recruit According to 247 Sports
  • Voted Team Captain in 2023
  • Selected to the 2024 Senior Bowl Roster

College Production

  • Played in 34 Games
  • 177 Total Tackles
  • 9.5 Tackles for Loss
  • 11 Pass Deflections
  • Three Interceptions

Notable PFF Stats

  • PFF Tackling Grade 70.6
  • Passer Rating When Targeted 86.9
  • 54 Defensive Stops
  • 13.1 Yards Per Reception
  • Three Penalties

Traits and Skills

Ball Skills

Brade does an excellent job tracking the ball whether it is in the air or on the ground. He demonstrates good burst making a play on the ball or carrier and is oftentimes in a position to force a turnover or disrupt a play in some way. I really like his ability to be a free-range safety type in the NFL in single-safety defensive scheming.

Instincts/Recognition

He does an excellent job of reading plays and following them as they unfold. Against Ohio State in 2023 he especially showed great instincts making plays on receivers or cutting them out of a play by finding them in space. This trait also allowed for him at times to provide reasonable pass coverage as a corner as well.

Tackling

At times he can be a bit hesitant to hit a ball carrier above the waist but that doesn’t impede him. Does it make his job harder at times? Absolutely, but he avoids drive-extending penalties that way. He adjusts when he needs to though and can be a physical tackler when making plays between the hashes by wrapping up and driving through the player he is making a tackle on.

Traits to Develop

Run Support

I highlighted his tackling above and his instincts, but Brade’s run support can still use some improvement. He has the ability to be a great run defender, but he lacks the willingness to engage, and that can be troubling. His tackling technique to go low so often, not in a dirty tackle way, makes me feel that Brade doesn’t have a killer instinct and would rather make plays on the ball in the air. With this Lions coaching staff, this could easily be coached up and corrected.

Fit within the Lions Roster

The Lions have a need at safety and Brade could be a great fit for them. They have really lacked players who can make plays on the ball in the air. They were 22nd in turnovers forced in 2023 and for this team and defense specifically to take the next step, they need players who can make plays on the ball. Brade didn’t have crazy ball production at Maryland but he was often in position to make a play.

Brade could be a fun target for the Lions on day two with the ability to start right away if given the chance.

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