Baltimore Ravens (Ravens traded 62nd, 165th and 199th picks for 56th pick)
Second Round, 56th Pick
One of the most athletic defensive players in this class, Arthur Brown (brother to Eagles' running back Bryce Brown) has been a steady and consistent force at middle linebacker for Kansas State over the last two seasons.
The first player to intercept both Robert Griffin III and Geno Smith during their respective hot streaks, the Wichita native found his way back to his home state after beginning his college career at Miami.
On paper, he has everything an NFL team wants from a linebacker (except ideal size) in the modern NFL and is one of the best overall prospects in the draft.
+ Sideline-to-sideline range
+ Excellent at getting off blocks
+ Strong tackler
+ Athletic enough to cover in space
- Will get over aggressive and over run plays
- Lacks ideal height and bulk
Tools ( + )
4.55-4.66 (Pro Day)
After not performing at the Senior Bowl or the NFL Scouting Combine because of a shoulder injury, Brown showed up at Kansas State’s Pro Day and reports were that he had an excellent workout. This wasn’t surprising, as Brown has proven to be one of the most athletic linebackers in college football over the last two years—possessing true sideline-to-sideline range.
Brown was named team captain both seasons he attended Kansas State. His college career began at the University of Miami. Brown has always been considered quiet and unassuming, butworked to develop his vocal leadership and communication skills going into his senior year.
Brown played middle linebacker in a very traditional 4-3 defense. He displays both high level run and chase and coverage skills, works through traffic well in the middle, and has surprising strength to stack and shed.
An incredibly fast and aggressive linebacker, Brown’s athleticism and range was an important part of a very good Kansas State defense.
Pass Coverage ( + )
An excellent pass defender, Brown shows the ability to cover slot receivers and running backs in man coverage with ease. He’s also a disciplined and instinctive defender in zone coverage.
Brown was the first player to intercept both Robert Griffin III and Geno Smith during their final seasons, when both were on hot streaks to open their year. Brown’s excellent speed also allows him to cover bubble screens on the perimeter.
Pass Rush ( - )
Kansas State will blitz Brown a handful of times a game (both inside and off the edge). He has the type of speed and closing burst to get pressure when he has a clear run to the quarterback, but isn’t a true pass-rusher by any means.
Rush Defense ( + )
Brown’s size limits his overall stack-and-shed power when taking on offensive linemen head up, but he plays so fast and is so slippery that he usually beats them to the spot so they cannot ever get a clean shot on him.
He actually has surprising strength both in terms of his tackling inside and in defeating blocks against fullbacks and tight ends.
Read and React ( + )
Arguably the best key-and-diagnose linebacker in the entire draft, Brown reads plays incredibly fast and constantly blurs through traffic untouched to make plays in the backfield or around the line of scrimmage.
Although he can get caught overpursuing at times, he generally is very disciplined with his pursuit angles and possesses great start-and-stop ability.
Brown also rarely compromises the integrity of the defense by freelancing or running around blocks. He has an excellent understanding of the passing game and route combinations and shows the awareness to find crossing tight ends and wide receivers after bootleg action.
Tackling ( + )
Bill Snyder excels at developing fundamentally sound players, and Brown is no exception.
Brown is an excellent form tackler whose hits pack a punch, and is equally adept at bringing players down in space as he is in close quarters. He does lack bulk and length and could therefore struggle to take on the biggest of NFL backs, but he should continue to add weight and strength in the NFL, negating concerns.
Future Role/Versatility ( + )
Brown’s playing size in college was around 235 pounds, making him a 4-3 weak side linebacker for most teams. However, he started for two years at middle linebacker and was more than physical and strong enough to handle it. He should be able to hack it in the NFL after he adds some more strength and weight.
He could also project to a weak inside linebacker for some 3-4 teams, as he is a very comparable player in size and skill to NaVorro Bowman.
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