There are two outstanding defensive tackles to pay attention to right away. Auburn’s Derrick Brown and South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw look to be the dynamic defensive playmakers every team wants. What does Brown have that makes scouts rant and rave? What makes him an NFL Draft Prospect?
Brown is great at forcing fumbles. His strip-sack ability is really something to focus on. When he hits quarterbacks, he actively looks to strip the ball. This is a skill that will win the hearts and minds of coaches, scouts, and veteran NFL players. Everyone is going to love that portion of his game, no questions asked. He also possesses great speed which is extremely rare for a defensive tackle. Most defensive tackles are known for having a lot of strength which Brown has. However, Brown can really move fast for a defensive tackle. Quarterbacks will have a very tough time getting away from him when he gets past offensive lineman. His secure tackling technique will make it very difficult for quarterbacks and running backs to get break tackles and escape his pass rush.
His high motor will also be a factor in his success. Brown doesn’t take plays off. He is an active pass rusher and seeks to be the top defensive playmaker in every game. You can just see the level of excitement he plays with. The team that drafts him will have a high energy presence on their defensive line and locker room. Brown is more than just a skilled player, he will be part of a team culture which gives him more draft value.
What does Brown need to work on? He needs to develop more pass-rushing moves. NFL offensive lineman will counter his “slap move”. This weakness was exposed in the game against Alabama last season. It could become a major issue if he doesn’t work on that. However, the best NFL coaches will work with him on that. Once he develops more pass-rushing moves, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Brown will be an instant starter and a feared defensive lineman.
Draft Projection: Early first round. Top ten pick