Name: Derrick Brown
Position: Defensive Tackle
NFL Grade: 7.11 ("Pro Bowl Talent")
Stats: A three-year starter and four-year player for the Auburn Tigers, Brown started his collegiate career in the spotlight as the MaxPreps national player of the year and the No. 9 overall high school prospect coming out of Sugar Hill, Georgia. Over 53 games played for the Tigers, Brown amassed 170 total tackles, 33.5 of which were for loss, along with 13.0 sacks, adding eight passes defensed, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. His 2019 season saw career-highs in solo tackles (33), tackles for loss (12.5), passes defensed (4), forced fumbles (2) and fumble recoveries (2). He was voted a consensus All-American, winning the Lott IMPACT Trophy and named a finalist for the Outland, Nagurski and Bednarik Awards for his 2019 efforts.
Brown's best game came against Texas A&M where he registered four tackles, 2.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, forced a fumble and broke up two passes, earning him a Lott IMPACT Trophy player of the week nomination and the Reese's Senior Bowl Defensive Senior of the Week award.
Comments: Brown may not have had the best performance in Indianapolis but if there's anything the NFL has learned from guys like Ravens Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown – don't let that sway your opinion of trench dwellers. Though Brown is on the other side of the ball, his 5.16 40-yard dash shouldn't be alarming to anyone – especially at 326 pounds. With 34 ½ inch arms, he managed 28 reps on the bench press, too. Which is fine. His testing should tell you everything is fine. It's his tape you need to pay attention to.
His athleticism jumps out right away when watching his highlight reels. You can see his quickness off the line and his 'get off' to really get to blockers and get them off their mark. It's allowed him to get into the backfield, judging by his 33.5 tackles for loss during his collegiate career – 12.5 of which came in 2019. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein has this to say about the three-year starter:
"Brown's snap quickness allows him to take muddy running lanes by re-setting the line of scrimmage. He has the ability to power into gaps, but he really shines when he drops his anchor to stall double-teams or punch, press and prey on runners as a two-gapper. Brown's upright rush style means he might be more of a pressure rusher than a sack-man, but he should keep improving as a rusher with more dedication to the craft."
Most mock drafts have Brown going in the top 10, likely well before the Bucs will have a chance to get him barring a trade up in the rankings. But an interior defensive lineman is a definite need – though it remains to be seen where on the list of priorities the position lies.