Our last defensive prospect is perhaps one of the best defensive prospects in the SEC, and that is Derick Brown of Auburn.
Derick Brown is an absolute menace. He is a guy that players should be scared of for his size and explosiveness. At 6”5, 318 ibs., Brown is a force to be reckoned with that will make opponents pay. He has improved every year he has stepped on the field and is arguably the best defensive line prospect in this draft class.
Brown is also quick for his size and will appear out of nowhere on plays and pancake opponents. Brown has future Pro Bowl talent written all over him.
Derrick Brown is a gigantic human. He stands 6’5 318 lbs. Brown is also extremely strong. With his size and strength he wrecked gameplans for offenses in the SEC. He has the ability to disrupt the run game as well as get after the passer. Brown plays a grown man’s game at just 21 years old. He’s also a guy who showed continued improvement each year at Auburn.
Derrick Brown is an absolute dominator in the interior and a mountain of a man. He moves offensive linemen smaller and equal to him and because of his size he attracts a lot of double teams. While this is where a lot of d-linemen get stumped, this is where Brown accelerates because he doesn’t get moved. As a pass rusher he is relentless as an attacker and shows 110% effort for getting at the quarterback. He is a tall, powerful, and explosive guy, who will wreak havoc in NFL interiors for years to come. He still has a lot of room to grow mentally and physically being only 21 years old, and for his size that is an absolute bonus for NFL teams.
Derick Brown does not have any red flags that scouts should be concerned about. Most of his weaknesses are ones that can be fixed at the next level. Brown is the complete package for a defensive lineman. However, there are a few areas where he can polish up on.
If you watch him play, Brown will stand straight up out of his stance at shoulder pad level. This is one minor flaw that he will have to work on to perfect his game, as he will have a tough time getting by with that.
One other flaw that is nit picky but not as bad as the first one is his hand technique. He has impressive power with his hands. However, there are times when he will not get the full extension he needs to drive and finish his plays. For example, one of the games he struggled with this at times was against Alabama in 2018. Brown has the arm span to perfect this, but he has had plays where due to him not extending his arms enough, he will not get the power and explosion he needs to finish.
Derrick Brown uses his size to his advantage. However, there is room for concern if he continues to gain weight. His weight at its current status shouldn’t bother anyone, but if he continues to gain he may not be an every play kind of guy. Brown also needs to work on his hands. He needs to be more violent with them. If he can fix that flaw he can truly unlock his full potential.
Like a lot of these physically impressive monsters, they rely a lot on their size and power. Because of this they lack technique in some areas and Brown is no exception. Because he is young it’s really not a huge problem, but he needs to use and extend his hands more, and he needs to develop a signature move. As a young, up and coming, elite player, development of these things will take him to the next level.
Draft Projection: Where will one of the nation’s top defensive prospects land in the 2020 NFL Draft?
Derick Brown is a top ten talent no doubt. I think him in with the Carolina Panthers is very fitting, seeing as they are losing Gerald McCoy to free agency and they do not have a whole lot of depth on that front defensive line. In 2019, the Panthers ranked 14th in rushing yards allowed, as well as in the bottom half of rankings for points and yards allowed. Derick Brown would be a nice boost to that mediocre defense. Matt Rhule is known for turning mediocre teams around. Derick Brown would be a nice fit for a young defense that needs more franchise pieces, especially after losing Luke Kuechly to retirement.
Derrick Brown is a Top-10 talent. You’re getting a grown man with Brown. He will come on day 1 and be a force on your team’s interior. Teams like Carolina and Detroit could use a wrecking ball like him defensively.
Brown has quickly made himself an elite prospect in some scouting circles. He is a top-10 talent, and a great showing at the combine will solidify that. Once everyone sees how big and athletic he is, it’ll only help his stock more. There are plenty of teams in the top-10 who need a player like Brown for their defensive lines. The earliest I’m expecting him to go is to Detroit at three, and he may be the right defensive stud Matt Patricia needs. If Detroit passes, he could be picked by the Giants who might be leaning towards left-tackle but they would think hard before passing on him. I wouldn’t expect him to slide past Carolina as they need their new defensive centerpiece.
This concludes our Cream City Central 2020 NFL Prospect Project. Tune into our weekly podcast, as we will go more in-depth about the 2020 prospects!