September 19, 2009; Gainesville FL, USA; Tennessee running back Bryce Brown (11) runs with the ball as Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham attmepts to stop him during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Lions Draft Prospects: Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State


The Detroit Lions brought five players in for a pre-draft visit today, here is one of them:

Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State
Height: 6′
Weight: 223 lbs
40 Yrd Dash: 4.48 sec
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 22
Vertical Jump: 34″
Broad Jump: 09’09″
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.20 sec
3-Cone Drill: 7.04 sec

The thing about Bryce Brown is that you can’t get too far without discussing the glaring discrepancy above. He’s listed as being from Kansas State and the photo shows him as a Tennessee Volunteer – that’s just part of the story.

Bryce Brown was the nation’s top rated running back coming out of high school in 2009. He announced his decision to sign with Miami (FL) but did not sign a letter of intent on signing day. He flirted with other schools while controversy ensued about whether or not his letter of intent issued by Miami was still valid and ultimately would up as the top recruit in Lane Kiffin’s one and only recruiting class at Tennessee.

He carried the ball 101 times at a clip of 4.6 yards per carry as a true freshman but asked for his release when Derek Dooley showed up in Knoxville. Dooley tried to play hardball but Brown eventually was able to make his way to Kansas State. After sitting out the 2010 due to transfer rules, Brown carried the ball just three times during the 2011 season before leaving the team in late September and declaring for the NFL draft in January

The tumultuous final season was preceded by Brown’s inclusion in the Yahoo! Sports investigative report regarding Nevin Shapiro and the impermissible benefits he had provided to college athletes.

If you followed all that and are keeping score at home that is three college commitments, two college seasons and one of the biggest NCAA scandals in recent memory.

It takes a lot of skill to be a highly touted recruit like Bryce Brown was and the potential he flashed as a Freshman at Tennessee validates that the recruiting sites weren’t overrating him. His lack of football action since then and the character concerns might be too much for an NFL team to use a draft pick on Brown. Big boards at places like ESPN and The National Football Post show that he’ll be a late round pick if he’s picked at all.

The success he had as a Vol came in a zone running scheme so the Lions will have to make a decision whether or not he even fits what their offensive scheme. That will be a secondary determination, however. Getting a feel for his character and where his head is at is of primary importance for Martin Mayhew right now. Mayhew has repeatedly done his homework in getting a personal feel for a players’ character rather than relying on second-hand accounts.

It doesn’t make a difference in the draft process but Bryce Brown is something like a Detroit Lions “legacy”. His uncle, Lawrence Pete, played on the Lions’ defensive line from 1989 to 1993.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Bryce Brown Detroit Lions