Pros: Has a quick first step as an edge rusher, showing the ability and potential to be explosive and turn corner. Has good strength for his size coupled with good athleticism. Has good speed and does a nice job making plays in pursuit and chasing from the backside. Will hit guys and shows some pop as a tackler.
Cons: Will get overwhelmed at the point of attack by NFL linemen. Has poor recognition and lacks awareness. Struggles making stops in the open field, and generally looks raw when moving in space. Doesn't get off blocks well. Might lack a killer instinct and doesn't always play to whistle, particularly vs. the run. Lacks experience working in coverage.
Overview: Brown is a bit of an underachiever. You see his athleticism to play linebacker, but he's raw in space. Each game there are 1 or 2 great plays he makes, but you feel if he worked and played harder, that could easily be 4 or 5 big plays.
NFL Forecast: If he lives up to his athleticism, then he'll make a solid pass-rushing OLB in the 3-4. But he's still raw, and I believe is going to take at least three years before he can really impact there. A team is going to have to express patience with him there as they get him more comfortable moving and operating in space. And because of his high learning curve and subpar motor, it's not a great recipe for success there long-term. Instead, if you want him to impact early, try him as a situational pass rusher. Could work in the 4-3 in that role, but he's never going to be a starter. Lacks the size and motor that you'd like there. If Brown can impact early on special teams or as a situational pass rusher, I think he could be a decent NFL career. But if none of those things happen, he probably won't last to the end of his rookie contract.
ATL Forecast: In Atlanta, he'd make a better situational pass rusher than potential linebacker conversion. You like his athleticism at the latter, but too raw to make any sort of impact in the 4-3 at linebacker any time soon. He could be a nice situational pass rusher for the Falcons early on, the type of guy that could get 3-5 sacks a year. But he lacks the long-term upside to be a starter, and wouldn't be great in that role. More than likely, he'd have to sit a year or two just to get big enough to impact as an end.
Value: A 3-4 team might take a chance on him in the fourth round due to his potential, but I'd rather take in the fifth or sixth since he's a long- term project rather than an immediate impact player.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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