Monday, April 20, 2009

Everette Brown - How Low Will He Go?

A couple people have questioned the likelihood of FSU’s Everette Brown falling to the Bucs at pick #19. While that’s something that would pique my interest, I honestly hadn’t given it much consideration until now. Is he a versatile defender, or is he a true tweener? Let’s take a quick look at Brown’s game and see where he might fit.

Pros –
· Extremely athletic and quick off the snap
· Big upside
· Makes his living in the offensive backfield (21 TFL and 13 ½ sacks in ’08)
· Changes direction smoothly
· Explosive hitter
· Hard worker; well liked
· Balanced; great shoulder dip
· Uses his hands very well
· Best arsenal of pass rush moves in this draft (speed, rip, swim, hump); not simply a speed rusher
· Nice lower body strength

Cons –
· Weight; reportedly played in FSU’s bowl game at 225
· Height; measured 6-2 at the combine
· Not his fault, but the poor pro careers of Jamal Reynolds, Andre Wadsworth, Alonzo Jackson, and Reinard Wilson won’t work in his favor.
· As a 3-4 OLB, can he cover? (hasn’t demonstrated enough good or bad to have a real read)

Brown actually held up better against the run than some of the prospect reviews I’ve seen give him credit for. His weight will be a red flag for some teams, but Brown bulked up to 256 at the combine, and looked smooth in his position drills; both at DE and LB. He won’t get a ton bigger, but he can add a bit more weight to his frame without negating his speed. Remember, he’s not just a speed rusher, so I don’t see a weight gain limiting him at all.

What I like about him, and this shows his intelligence, is when he’ll fire off the line off the tackle’s outside shoulder, and then after the tackle overcommits, Brown uses his balance and sharp change of direction easily dispose of the tackle and track down the man with the ball.

I think it’s safe to say he’s not going in the top 5. That said, here are the picks from 6-19 and whether or not a 3-4 pass rushing OLB or 4-3 DE is high enough on their list of priorities:

6) Cincinnati – I’ve got DE as a need and the position that they could best address here if they decided not to go tackle. That said, I still have Brian Orakpo on the board at this point, and I don’t see Brown being drafted ahead of him by any team.

7) Oakland – They could use a pass rusher after the craptastic year Derrick Burgess had, but I slot that need behind WR, SLB, and T.

8) Jacksonville – With Reggie Hayward, Derrick Harvey, and Quentin Groves on the roster, DE takes a substantial back seat to LT, CB, WR, DT, MLB, G, and C.

9) Green Bay – Green Bay is one of several teams making the move to a 3-4 defense this year, and they’re looking someone other than Aaron Kampman to apply pressure to the QB. Here’s where I have Orakpo going. If he’s not there, with offensive tackle being as dire of a need (if not moreso) than OLB, there’s a good chance that another guy I already have off the board (Michael Oher) will be here when the Packers pick. They still run a ZBS up front on offense, and Oher has the footwork and athleticism to play in that scheme. Basically, I think that if it’s not Orakpo, they’d take Oher before Brown or another OLB. The odds of Orakpo and Oher both being gone by this pick are very very slim.

10) San Francisco – I think Mike Singletary is going to want some help getting to the passer, seeing as how the Niners ranked 16th in the league in QB sacks last season. Had they not brought in Marvel Smith, I think I would have put Andre Smith in this spot. He still might be the pick, but I think San Francisco is going to get a pass rusher here. Parys Haralson is a guy they like (and with good reason), but can they count on Marry Lawson enough to bypass Brown?

11) Buffalo – If Brown makes it past those last two 3-4 teams, he’d be available for another 4-3 team in sore need of a pass rusher.

12) Denver – Another team moving to a 3-4, they need help all over the front 7. Would they risk their first pick on a guy making the move to OLB? They still have to see if Jarvis Moss wants to be an NFL player, and Elvis Dumervill will play on the outside. Word is Tim Crowder and newly signed Darrell Reid are going to get reps there as well. I’m not as convinced that the latter two can play 3-4 OLB, but maybe it’s enough for the Broncos to look elsewhere with this pick.

13) Washington – DE (along with RT, G, and SLB) is up there on the list of priorities for the Skins. Word is they aren’t enamored with Brown.

14) New Orleans – I’ve got FS, WLB, RB, DT, CB, and RT as outranking DE on the needs list. Surely, they’ll find someone at one of those positions.

15) Houston – You know, if they hadn’t signed Antonio Smith from the Cardinals, I give DE a real shot here. Since they already have big money tied up in Smith and Mario Williams, I think it’s safe to say that DE won’t be the choice.

16) San Diego – I’ve got RT, DE, SS, RG, NT, WR, RB, and ILB all ahead of OLB on their list of needs.

17) NY Jets – I think it has to be either WR or QB with this pick. If not, I’d still put RB, DE, RT, and another WR ahead of OLB.

18) Denver (see #12)

Then you’ve got the Bucs who sorely need a pass rusher opposite Gaines Adams. Just my analysis, but I think picks 9-11 will determine Brown’s fate. “All” it would take is Green Bay choosing either Orakpo or Oher, San Francisco picking Andre Smith or Malcolm Jenkins, and Buffalo opting for Maybin or Cushing.

That opens up the possibility of Brown falling, but I don’t want to get too excited about that yet. Should it happen, I would absolutely embrace him being the pick.

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