Multiple Team Sources Rate Derrick Brown over Christian Wilkins or Ed Oliver
Updated Aug. 13, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
It is very seldom to see a potential top-10 pick decide to skip an NFL draft and return for their senior year, but that is exactly what happened at the beginning of 2019 when Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown decided to return to the Tigers rather than join the professional ranks. Multiple team sources say Brown would have been a top-10 pick, and entering his senior year, they feel he is a better prospect than Ed Oliver or Christian Wilkins.
Coming out of Houston, Oliver was selected with the ninth-overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, while Christian Wilkins was the 13th-overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Clemson. Area scouts feel Brown has a better skill set than either of those players. They also believe his performance over the past two seasons is on a par with his immense physical talent.
Brown played well as a junior despite facing a bunch of double teams, totaling 48 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. In 2017, Brown had a breakout sophomore season, recording 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-4, 322-pounder has rare skill set with speed, athleticism and size.
Team sources say the only interior defensive line prospect who definitely would have been rated higher than Brown was Alabama's Quinnen Williams. They feel that if Brown had entered the 2019 NFL Draft, he would have gone after Williams in the top 10 and ahead of Oliver and Wilkins. If Brown stays healthy and consistent as a senior, scouts believe that he will be a top-10 pick next April.