Nick Saban believes Chris Braswell gives Alabama a third dangerous pass rusher

Chase Goodbread
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama opponents know exactly what they'll get from Will Anderson as the nation's top returning pass rusher, and over the second half of last season, they got a strong taste of what Dallas Turner can do in that regard as well.

Chris Braswell is more of an unopened package, but Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban put him in a category with the other two when asked about the 240-pound junior outside linebacker from Baltimore.

"He's a really good rusher, he's got great first-step quickness. You can be quick and fast, but if you can't turn speed to power, you're never going to be an effective rusher. And he can do that really well," Saban said. "I think we have three guys there right now that are really good players at outside 'backer.' "

SABANS 15:Celebrate Nick Saban's 15 epic seasons at Alabama football with our special book!

WATCH THIS:Nick Saban speaks on first day of Alabama football preseason practices

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:Why coach Nick Saban says 2021 was 'a rebuilding year' for Alabama football

Braswell has yet to notch his first career sack, putting him a far cry from Anderson's career production. But it's clear Saban is comfortable with his effectiveness in a pass-rushing role, and he could see the field this fall with Anderson and Turner in third-and-long situations when pass rushers are at a premium.

Braswell also can turn heads in the weight room. He's squatted as much as 705 pounds — almost triple his body weight — and power cleaned 405, according to The Athletic.

"He's got a much better understanding of what he's supposed to do playing defense, playing outside 'backer. It takes guys a little time who have their hand in the dirt all the time when they're in high school," Saban added. "Then we try to teach them how to play standing up, which is a good fit for a lot of guys. Because they're not really big enough to be defensive ends, especially at the next level. So if they can play outside 'backer and rush on third down, that creates tremendous value when they learn how to play standing up. He has learned that, and he's improved at the pass coverage part of it."

Braswell and the rest of the Alabama team will participate in the first of two camp scrimmages Saturday.

Reach Chase Goodbread at Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread