Prospect of the Day: Malcom Brown

Texas DT Malcom Brown
6'2", 319 lb.

Lettered in football, basketball and track at Brenham HS, TX
Ranked as 12th best prospect from Texas in graduating class of 2012 - ESPNU
1st Team All-State - 2011
Had 66 TFL, 91 QB hurries and 24 sacks in three years as a starter in HS
Honorable Mention HS All-American as a senior
3rd Team All-State - 2010
Married with two children
Volunteers for Adam's Angels - organization for families who have children/lost children to cancer

Consensus 1st Team All-American (2014)
Outland Trophy Finalist (2014)
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist (2014)
1st Team All-Big 12 (2014)
First DT to lead team in TFL in 30 years (2014)
Led team in sacks - 6.5, TFL - 15, FF - 2 and QB Pressures - 8 (2014)
One of three players to share Joseph W. Moore Tenacity Award for Defense (2013)
Third on team in PBU - 5 (2013)
Third on team in TFL - 12 (2013)

Combine Measurements
Arms: 32 ½"
Hand: 10"
40-yd dash: 5.05 secs
10-yd split: 1.75 secs
Vertical Jump: 29 ½"
Broad Jump: 8'2"
3-cone Drill: 7.84 secs
Short Shuttle: 4.59 secs

In 2013, I had a friend of mine ask me what I thought of Brown as a next level prospect. For some reason, he thought that Brown was at least a junior and could declare at that point. I responded "give him one more year and let's discuss". There was definite physical ability there but the Texas defense struggled so mightily that year that it was hard to truly see a gem amongst the pile of trash.

I didn't think much of that back and forth, if you will, until the UCLA game in 2014 when he had three TFL and the Horns nearly got a win against the undefeated Bruins. I realized that might be the point at which I needed to truly consider how much of a prospect Brown actually was going to be.

As the season played out, it was evident that there were very few, if any, defensive linemen that disrupted offensive schemes as significantly as Brown. Head coach Charlie Strong and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford seemingly pushed the right button with this entire defense but the ignition button was truly Brown in the middle. How much was one year worth? Let's take a look.

"If you asked right now (November 2014), I'd say Malcom is a 1st round pick. You go to school to make a living, to make money. If there's a situation where you have a chance to do that, why wouldn't you?" - Texas DC Vance Bedford on Brown's eventual departure after his junior season at Texas.

What to like
--As quick up the field for a man his size as any in college football that I saw last year.
--Highly productive when it mattered
--Strong lower trunk - I stood near him on the sideline at the Advocare 100 Texas Bowl and his thighs were huge.
--Has versatility up and down the defensive line
--Can line up from tackle to tackle and play the run and rush effectively from each spot.
--Excellent stack and shed technique on run downs.
--When he sees a double team or feels one, he does an excellent job of turning his shoulders, getting skinny, sliding through and then getting square again to track the ball carrier.
--Is so quick that he can slip past blocks, get upfield and not lose his run fit - this is dicey though because if he gets bumped a hair, he's out of position. I see this a bunch from a guy wearing No. 99 in deep steel blue and battle red but it works often because JJ Watt's quicker than every OL he faces. Similar thought with Brown on the interior.
--Never gives up on a play.

What needs some work
--Needs to be better with his hands when he rushes the quarterback - probably the one trait most young defensive linemen have to acquire.
--Although 2013 was a decent year, is he a one-year wonder?
--Stands way too tall when he's been on the field for a while - no burst off ball, no hands or violence.
--For a guy so active v. the run, he's too easy to block overall on straight dropback throws - v. BYU's guards just locked him up one-on-one, he didn't demand a double team or force one.
--Must maintain good leverage or he'll get moved off the ball repeatedly.
--But, to the point above about slipping blocks...v. Oklahoma, he tried to do that against RT Daryl Williams and the Sooner RT just washed him down the line completely out of the play

Over the past month or so, Brown has been mocked inside the top 15 regularly and in some cases as high as number nine to the New York Giants. When I think about defensive linemen over the past 20 years that got drafted in that top ten range, they were guys that were dual threats against both the pass and run. Brown is so very good playing the run and I can only think of a few that came out of college with his ability to not only stop the run but knife into the backfield and make impact tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

However, he's not a tremendous pocket pushing pass rusher at this point and he doesn't possess a ton of pass rush acumen/repertoire. Guys like Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy were equally adept terrorizing both pass and run plays coming out of Nebraska and Oklahoma, respectively. I don't see that from Brown just yet. Is it something he can learn? Well, the assets are there. For example, I see him use his hands really well v. the run but he does really nothing with them rushing the quarterback. He's quick as a cat off the ball, firing off on run downs. But, on a pass set, it takes him a while to even engage. The tools are there, he just has to use them consistently in all phases of the game.

That all said, there's no question about his effort (plays all out every play), his commitment (married with two young children) or his character (never an on- or off-the-field issue at Texas). Not to mention, he'll improve day in and day out and be a face of the franchise sort of player for the life of his career. And, a productively good one at that.

Take a look at Malcom Brown's college career at Texas.

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