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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Braden Fiske

They say patience is a virtue. While many draft prospects hoped this adage would apply to them with the recent run of COVID athlete protocols in college football, none appear to be more fitting than defensive lineman Braden Fiske. Fiske, a sixth-year senior who transferred from Western Michigan to the big-time program Florida State this past season, set out to prove he was in the upper echelon of draft prospects. Although it took him to and through the 2024 NFL Combine, he may have established himself as a day-two lock with a relentless motor, quick first step, and speed and finesse.  

Player Bio:

Name: Braden Fiske 

Jersey: No. 55

Position: Interior Defensive Lineman

School: Florida State University

Class: Sixth year-Senior

Height: 6’5”

Weight:  298 lbs

Games Watched: LSU (2023), Clemson (2023), PITT (2022, 2023), Louisville (2023), Duke (2023), NIU (2022) 

Notable Injury History: Knee and shoulder injuries throughout career. Herniated disk in high school. 

Player Breakdown:

Block Shedding (13/15)

Braden Fiske shows tons of promise from the 2 and 3 technique at breaking free from blockers, is highly agile for his size, and, with a quick but non-dominant step off the ball, is able to dismantle blocks with ease. Fiske’s strong motor, while not elite, will be beneficial on Sundays. Fiske employs a variety of moves to dispatch double teams. 

Strength at the Line of Scrimmage (11/15)

There are moments when Fiske is overwhelmed and swallowed up by guards. This is mainly because he often finds himself taller than pad level with stiff hips and almost no leverage. His agility and quick feet help to overcome these deficits. Losing battles to SEC linemen can be expected at times, but his performance against Duke left a lot to be desired in terms of an ability to dominate the trenches. He will need to work on his hand-fighting and power moves if he hopes to make it playing on Sundays.  

Pass Rush Ability (11/15)

Known for his combination of abilities, speed, and power, Fiske should be an excellent fit for rushing passers. However, he continuously gets caught with his hands in bad, if not awkward, positions, leaving him vulnerable to punches. That being said, his best weapon is the swim, which he uses frequently to great effect.  

Consistency (13/15) 

Over six seasons in college football, Braden Fiske has developed into a sound, if not consistent, member of the defensive line. He saw his reps go up each season he played, proving that given enough time, his skillset will prove valuable. The downside comes from his infrequent use of hands and poor pad height during pass rushes.  

Push (7/10)

Physicality is probably the weakest part of Braden Fiske’s game. Where he looks dominant with finesse moves, he can be easily swallowed up using his physical game. This is somewhat mindboggling, considering he has a great first step and motor. However, standing straight up with stiff hips lends poor leverage and often negates those excellent attributes. Overall, this shouldn’t be much of a concern as long as he gets drafted to a team that values speed and finesse instead of brute force in the trenches. 

Length Usage (8/10)

There is no getting around Braden Fiske’s undersized wingspan and hand measurables. However, he uses every bit of it to his advantage. Florida State moved Fiske around the line this past season, and when he wasn’t pushing through to pressure the quarterback, he was often able to break up passes at the line of scrimmage.

Athleticism (9/10)

Braden Fiske is absolutely dominant in this arena. He can move with finesse and speed, easily maneuvering quickly through most blockers. He suffers from underperforming in terms of size and strength. Fiske is perfect for the 2 technique but may not be well suited for much else on the field, as tackles will devour him on pass rushes. 

Football IQ (8/10)

Fiske's ability to employ those various moves pushes this measure higher than most. He has taken the time necessary to develop from a very basic and simple set of skills to a dominant player in the trenches. He appears to be a student of the game with a deeper understanding of blocking schemes and how to overcome them.

Player Summary

Overall, Braden Fiske will be a household name in the years to come, assuming he lands on a team with the right scheme and enough patience to allow him to come into his own. He has repeatedly proven that he is willing to take the time and steps to develop into a force to be reckoned with. I love his speed and power, and I feel that most of his issues are coachable and can be fixed at the next level.  

Rookie Projections: Fiske will be seen as a sturdy run defender and solid situational pass rusher from the 2 technique but will struggle to see reps early on. 

Third-Year Projections: Consistent starter and possible centerpiece to an aggressive and agile defense. 

Final Grade: (80/100): 2nd Round Talent.

 (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)
Defensive Lineman Braden Fiske

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