So You Want To Draft A Boiler: Bruce Gaston

Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE

Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston has learned from two other NFL players in his time at Purdue.

The second player profiled in advance of the NFL draft is another 4-year contributor that was a solid performer on an otherwise bad defense. Bruce Gaston, like Ricardo Allen, played from day 1 at Purdue, as he helped notch a safety in the 2010 season opener at Notre Dame as a true freshman alongside two other NFL players in Kawann Short and Ryan Kerrigan. He stands an excellent chance of joining them in the League too.

Bruce Gaston - 6'2" 308 pound Defensive Tackle

40-yard Dash - 4.96 seconds

Overall:

Gaston played in all 50 games during his Purdue career and notched over 40 starts, making him an experienced player that NFL teams would be interested in. He finished his career with over 100 tackles and seven sacks plus a handful of forced fumbles. If I were to describe his career it would be effective, but not exceptional. What will get him an NFL look is his size and experience.

Strengths

Gaston is a big, strong dude who can plug up the middle of the line and often plays very well with talent around him. One of his best seasons was as a freshman when he had Kerrigan and Short around him as NFL talents. He got the look of NFL Scouts at the East-West Shrine Game and had a decent week.


Scouts have praised his footwork and technique as well as the attitude he plays with. These are all major plusses in his ledger.

Weaknesses

As I said above, he never really did much to stand out, especially after Short and Kerrigan were both gone. This past season he led Purdue with three sacks and was sixth in tackles with 48 tackles. It was a good, but not great season and he is not helped by the fact that Purdue went 1-11 with very few highlights. Fortunately, there are four years of film on Gaston that scouts can draw upon.

Final analysis:

Most experts view Gaston as a 7th round pick at best, but he at least has a shot of making an NFL roster. Like a 7-footer in basketball, you cannot teach Gaston's size. There has also been enough in his career, especially with Short and Kerrigan, to show he can play well if he has talent around him. He's not going to be a franchise-changing player, but he can be a solid piece in the middle of a talented defense.

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