Forget being the top defensive tackle, Derrick Brown is one of the top prospects in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft period. A projected first-round pick after his junior season, all Brown did was come back to school and impress even more. The unanimous All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Brown is the complete package for teams looking for an anchor along the defensive line.
Derrick Brown Draft Profile
Brown returned to school despite being a surefire first-round pick had he entered the 2019 draft, and he improved significantly during his senior season. He’s a 325-pounder with the movement skills of a much lighter player, while also packing the pure power that his body type suggests. He played on the nose often at Auburn and simply had his way with opposing centers. He explodes off the snap and has the lower-body power to back opponents into the quarterback, as well as the hands, powerful arms and torque to discard them on his way to the backfield. He is absolutely relentless, rarely neutralized for more than a split second if he doesn’t immediately grab the upper hand. He has the short-area quickness and the kind of natural balance that make him immovable when shooting gaps. He’ll make plays outside of his area in pursuit. He earns high marks for character and leadership.
Not much. The fact that he stayed in school made him a man among boys, and there could be an adjustment to playing against opponents with grown-man strength. He could use a little more polish as far as pass-rush plans go, for the times when the bull rush isn’t unstoppable.
Brown has the versatility to play a number of roles in a number of schemes, from the nose in an odd front to a penetrating 3-technique (and maybe even a 5-technique end in a 3-4). He’s an impact run defender as well as a good pass rusher with a chance to become great, a low-risk prospect with All-Pro upside.
Final Grade: Top-5 pick