Sometimes, players have to fall from grace to truly see how great others are. This might not be the case for Arthur Brown, but the recent events involving Mani Te'o have not hurt the Kansas State linebacker's rise on many draft boards with the NFL Draft just three days away.
At 6'1" and 241 pounds, Brown was a catalyst for the Kansas State football team that was more noted for their high-powered passing and running than a team committed to being a defensive juggernaut. In the middle of all the hype was Brown, just a player doing his job.
While he is listed on many draft boards as a player who could see time on the outside, I still think of him as a plugger in the middle of the defense, a Paul Posluszny-type who will stuff the run or trade blocks with a tight end over the middle.
His size is decent for the position and his attention to the running back over the middle or a tight end who comes under the seam.
Brown falls into that category of a player who is an overachiever -- a bit short who could ahev been a top 10 choice had he had better genes. But other linebackers like Zach Thomas or Derrick Brooks did just fine in the NFL from that position and made many a Pro Bowl in the process. Brown has that kind of talent.
According to cbssportsline.com, “Brown is an Instinctive, physical defender who, other than his lack of ideal size, ranks among the surest prospects of the 2013 Draft.” He also possesses excellent key and diagnosis skills.
One of the things that makes Brown stand out with all linebackers in this Draft is that he often takes his initial step toward where the play is designed to go before the quarterback has finished taking the snap. Read before reaction is something that is not taught and avoids cut blocks and when knocked to the ground. He does not give up on plays and has great sideline to sideline speed.
What I love about his play is his ability to read, react and then drop back into coverage, which takes a great deal of athleticism.
While he is ranked as a top 40 prospect on many draft boards and mock drafts, I could see him slip into the bottom of the first round. There is a team out there like the Baltimore Ravens who could use his size, his strength and his intensity.