Will Spencer of DraftBreakdown.com conducted this interview with Boston College DT Ron Brace earlier this month. Brace is of interest to the Cleveland Browns as a potential mid-round pick, and worked out for the team earlier this month.
To see more of Will's work for Draft Breakdown, click here.Spencer: How have things been working out for you building up to the draft?
Brace: They've been going pretty well. I can't complain. Just getting the opportunity to get drafted, things are going pretty good.
Spencer: Have you had any private visits or workouts with teams?
Brace: I had one private workout with the Broncos. I've had visits with Tampa Bay, Saints, and upcoming visits with the Browns and Indianapolis.
Spencer: What is it about your game that makes you stand out against the other tackles in the draft?
Brace: I think I'm one of the most physical tackles in the draft. I think that helps BJ too. Coming from Boston College, we were told we need to be violent and physical with our hands. Not a lot of defensive tackles do that. A lot of them are gap tackles. I think that sets me and BJ apart because we're both really physical guys.
Spencer: Looking back to the Senior Bowl, how do you think you performed and do you think it helped your draft stock?
Brace: A lot of people I did a real good job at the Senior Bowl. But I'm really hard on myself and critiquing myself and how I play. So a lot of people asked me how I did and I thought I did bad, but everyone told me I did good. Just because I know there's room for improvement and I'm not a finished product yet.
Spencer: Some players chose to opt out of the Senior Bowl. Is participating something you would recommend for future prospects?
Brace: I definitely would because you know that all the top players are gonna be playing. Also it's good when some top guys decide not to play because it opens up spots for guys who were in my situation, because the day I was supposed to leave for the East/West Shrine game, I got my invite to the Senior Bowl.
Spencer: Where do you think you'll fit in best in the NFL; as a nose tackle in a 3-4 or a 3 technique in a 4-3?
Brace: Coming from BC, we did a little bit of both. We're mainly a 4-3 but we did some 3-4 while I was there. When it comes down to simple terms, everybody plays the same way but when you get into the league, it's more detailed because there's more skill and bigger size. So I should be pretty good either way.
Spencer: Have any teams talked to you about playing in one position over another? You've talked to a few 3-4 teams, do you think that you're mainly being looked at as a nose tackle?
Brace: I definitely think the big majority of teams are looking at me as a zero technique or a one technique. I remember talking with the Saints and their offensive line coach told me I'd be playing a one, but not on every down...sometimes I'd be playing a 3. Then Indianapolis, they said they could see me playing a 3 technique too. So it could go either way, but I think most are looking at me primarily as a nose tackle.
Spencer: Have any particular teams been showing you more interest than others?
Brace: The ones that I can say have shown the most interest are the ones that have given me visits. The funny thing is, I was talking to Josh Beekman yesterday and he was telling me that he barely even talked to the Chicago Bears and they were the ones that ended up picking him up. So you never know what's gonna happen
Spencer: Are there any current NFL players that you'd compare your play style to?
Brace: 've heard a lot of people compare my play style to Pat Williams. To be honest, I haven't see Pat play that much, being in Minnesota. I see more of Vince Wilfork from New England. I can say the player I want to style my play after is Albert Haynesworth right now because he's a big guys that's one of the top pass rushers right now.
Spencer: Playing next to BJ Raji, do you feel you've been overshadowed or overlooked at all?
Brace: That's probably to be expected because I haven't got as many sacks as BJ's got. Sacks is one of the biggest achievements for a defensive tackle. BJ also played before me so he was out there longer. I try not to let it bother me too, because eventhough we're competiting for the same job, we're not going at eachother's throat.
Spencer: Have you and BJ stayed close throughout the process?
Spencer: What's the strongest aspect of your game right now.
Brace: Playing the run...definitely.
Spencer: What area of your game would you like to improve on when you get in the league.
Brace: I'd say pass rushing. That goes back to what I said about BJ making more sacks. BJ was a little more polished when it came to run/pass transitions, so that's what I need to work on.
Spencer: What was your major at BC?
Spencer: Have you graduated yet?
Brace: Yeah. That's probably my biggest off the field accomplishment at this point. I graduated in August before the season.
Spencer: Do you have any particular draft day plans.
Brace: It's kind of up in the air right now. I'll either be at home with my family or I'll be at BC for the spring game because it's the same day as the draft. I only live an hour away from BC so it's not that big of a deal for me to go down there.
Spencer: If there's one more thing you'd like NFL fans, the media or a team to know about you before we hear your name called on draft day, what would it be?
Brace: At this point, I'm not sure what more they could now after going through all this. Basically, I'm a hard worker and I give my all every chance I get.
Spencer: Thanks for taking your time out to talk to me and best of luck on draft day!