The SideLion Report’s Detroit Lions 2015 NFL Draft Prospect Profile series gives an in-depth scouting analysis of college football players who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar this spring.
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It’s common knowledge that the futures of Suh and Fairley are questionable due to contract status. As such, the Lions are sure to consider adding depth to the interior line during this year’s draft. One possible option who has been a popular choice for the Lions in early mock drafts is Malcom Brown, a defensive tackle from Texas.
After viewing four games, I gave Brown a 7.0 J grade (late first round/early second). Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:
Malcom Brown, DT – Texas
Height: 6020 Weight: 319 40 Time: 5.05
NFL Comparison: Terrance Knighton, Denver Broncos
Adequate height with good bulk on well-proportioned frame. Natural bender who consistently fires off the ball low and plays with leverage. Excellent run defender; consistently able to drop his hips and stack at the POA. Showcases quick, violent hands to keep OL from getting inside his frame. Above average lateral agility and straight line speed. Light on his feet. Fundamentally sound tackler who consistently wraps up on contact and brings his man down. Keys and diagnoses quickly. Has experience playing multiple positions along the line in 43 and 34 fronts. Gives solid overall effort on every down. Smart player with high character grades.
Lacks elite athletic characteristics. Average burst off the ball. Doesn’t possess the explosiveness to be a true gap-penetrator. Needs to improve strength and stamina; struggles collapsing the pocket if initial rush is stalled. Slow to redirect in pursuit. Must continue to refine pass rush technique, particularly counter moves.
Brown has played in all 38 games (26 consecutive starts to finish his career) during his career at UT, showing continual improvement each season. A “jack of all trades, master of none” type prospect Brown is a nose and three-technique “tweener”, but has the versatility to provide solid production at both in a 43 front. His better fit is probably at the nose, though he’ll need to get stronger so he can hold up more consistently against double teams.
While he showed improved pass-rush ability his junior season and certainly has upside in this regard, he lacks the explosiveness needed to be a consistently productive one-gap threat. Brown is a “high floor, low ceiling” prospect who can start in year one and provide a club with solid, consistent production. However, his upside as a true game-changer is limited. Late first round/early second round.
Assuming the Lions stay where they are in the first round, the 23 spot would be a touch early for Brown. However there’s something to be said for a pick as seemingly safe as Brown is on multiple levels. In addition to his projection as a solid starter, Brown’s off-field stability (married with two childen) and excellent character grades could result in him being drafted slightly higher than his on-field talent warrants. All things considered, Brown presents a sound case for hearing his name called when the Lions are on the clock.
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