Name: Braiden McGregor
Weight: 267 lbs.
High school: Port Huron (MI) Northern
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #17
Last year: I ranked McGregor #41 and said he would be a backup defensive end (LINK). He made 16 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 87
McGregor has had a rough go of it for the past few years. He tore up his knee as a senior in high school, sat out the 2020 season, and then just didn’t look like himself in 2021. He looked physically underdeveloped in the lower body and just didn’t have the speed or athleticism that he showed earlier in high school.
But in 2022 he seemed to get some of his mojo back. While he didn’t put up astounding numbers as a backup, he did make some nice plays and rack up 2.5 sacks. He also batted down 2 balls against Ohio State. It’s tough to call that kind of performance a true breakout, but it was a mini-breakout season for the Port Huron native.
The 2023 season should be another step forward for McGregor. He has a good chance to start at defensive end, the position Mike Morris and Aidan Hutchinson played before him. Both of those guys had standout seasons, and McGregor is somewhere between the two of them as an athlete – more athletic than Morris, less athletic than Hutchinson, and probably a little less powerful than both. He’s actually very close to Hutchinson’s size (McGregor is listed at the same height and just two pounds heavier than Hutchinson was as a senior), and my comparison when he came out of high school was Hutchinson.
I don’t think McGregor has the same motor as Hutchinson – nor the array of moves – so I would be extremely surprised if he becomes the same sensation. But I do expect a breakout year for him. I would not be surprised if he approaches double digit sacks and looks like a first team all-conference player.
Prediction: Starting defensive end; 40 tackles, 9 sacks
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