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Posted Feb. 13, 2009
What Can Brown Do For You?
For some reason, and I do not have a clue why, many draftniks and football fans feel like Florida State product Everette Brown can be a solid 4-3 bookend in the NFL.
I do not question his ability as a pass rusher. Brown is supremely tenacious as a pass rusher and he has arguably the quickest first step of all the defensive players in the 2009 NFL Draft. I love his balance, fluidity, flexibility and athleticism. After all, I had him as a much higher grade than most before the season started. As a 3-4 outside linebacker, I gave Brown 3.5 stars, which means a fringe first-round and strong second-round grade.
Coming into his junior season, Brown amassed 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks as a sophomore. These are impressive numbers, but not top-10 material.
As a junior, Brown really took his game to another level. He dominated consistently and really showed a burst to close and get after the quarterbacks in the ACC. Brown had 21.5 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks in 2008.
This was what I wanted to see and I elevated Brown as my No. 1 3-4 outside linebacker with a Top-8 grade-talent wise in the draft.
However, all of these pass-rushing skills do not mean you are a fit in the 4-3 defense. Brown is lanky with not much bulk, and to me, on the field, he has the body more of a small forward than a 4-3 base end. He really struggles to shed blockers and he can get manhandled by larger offensive linemen who are not even NFL-sized.
If you get manhandled in the running game, defensive coordinators will catch on quickly and run it to the very weak side 65 to 70 percent of the time. This is why I am not sold on Brown as a 4-3 base end.
My feelings with Brown as a 4-3 base end are even more legitimized when Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported Brown was 225 pounds in his final game with Florida State last year against Wisconsin in a bowl game.
There is no room in the NFL for a 225-245 pound defensive end. Everyone points to Dwight Freeney, but come on; he is an exception and not the rule.
I only have mocked Brown to the Raiders occasionally because Al Davis might overlook it because Brown will run a great 40. However, I have never been sold on him as a 4-3 base end.
His weight is now a huge factor and the Combine weigh-in is so important for both he and reportedly 236-pound Aaron Maybin of Penn State.
You really need to be around 260-plus pounds to endure the beatings by 320 -pound offensive tackles through 16 games of an NFL regular season. You have to be able to hold up against the run, anchor, fight through trash, disengage, and make the tackle.
Two twenty-five is not going to cut it.
When it comes to the 4-3 base defensive teams, Brown really cannot do that much for you.