6’0, 180 pounds | Cornerback | Texas
Ball skills: Brown, a former wide receiver in high school, has better hands than most corners in this year’s class. They’re not elite by any means, but good enough.
Body control: For a player who can move around so suddenly, Brown tends to maintain good balance during a play. His backpedal is fluid when he’s playing off his man. Can get out of balance when he has to jam at the line. In zone, Brown’s side step is decent but nothing special.
Instincts: Because he’s such good athlete, Brown can mask some of his read and recognition problems. Will be late to recognize where a play is going to develop. has an issue where he’s looking at the quarterback a step too long, which allows a receiver to gain separation.
Man coverage: In the Texas scheme, Brown was typically used in off-man coverage. One of Brown’s biggest weak spots is playing in press or bump-and-run coverage. He can easily be beaten off the line by receivers with even a small amount of strength. That isn’t to say Brown is a detriment in man coverage, though. He’s very good at mirroring receivers down the field is incredibly athletic.
Size: Has good height and length for a cornerback. Is a little small and could really help himself by adding some bulk throughout his frame. Doesn’t always play up to his size.
Speed: Although Brown timed at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, he plays fast. That is what helps him play man coverage so well. He showed on several occasions that he has the deep speed to run with fast wide receivers vertically. He also has good short-area speed to close the gap and make a play on the ball.
Tackling: Has a tendency to be overly aggressive when going for a tackle. Because Brown doesn’t have great strength, this causes him to miss on tackles. Needs to learn to play with better technique here. Used as a gunner on special teams.
Zone coverage: Brown has all the athletic tools to be an excellent zone corner. He’s quick to break on the ball and closes the gap with ease. His ball skills are good enough. Where Brown will falter some in zone is his poor tackling ability. If he can get stronger in his upper body, there’s no reason Brown shouldn’t be able to stick with a zone team.
Final word: Of the three Texas cornerbacks in the 2011 NFL Draft, Brown has alway been regarded as the most athletic. He’s a fluid player who can move around with ease on the field. Because of his natural athletic ability, Brown isn’t a scheme-specific corner. He could excel immediately on a team that uses off-man principles. He’ll be a work in progress in zone, but he’s skilled enough to make an impact in that system.