In every draft season, there are a handful of players that end up having significantly better NFL careers than they did in college. When thinking of a few examples; Aaron Donald, Alvin Kamara, and Travis Frederick come to mind. The success of these prospects in college rely mostly on the scheme they play in, the coaching staff around them, and the players playing with them. University of Virginia’s defensive lineman, Andrew Brown wasn’t necessarily put in the best position to succeed throughout his career at UVA. But he’s ready to move on to bigger and better things in the National Football League.
Coming out of Oscar Smith High School located in Chesapeake, Virginia, Brown was the fifth ranked prospect and the number one ranked defensive tackle in the nation according to ESPN.com. Brown had offers from practically every Division I school in the country, but decided to head to the University of Virginia with friends Quin Blanding and Eli Harold in hopes of building a dominant program at UVA. Unfortunately for Andrew, and the rest of the Cavaliers, that didn’t pan out the way they had hoped.
Andrew Brown played all along the defensive line in the Cavaliers two gap scheme, which limited Brown’s best traits – his explosion off the ball and effectiveness as an interior pass rusher. The former Cavalier still flashed consistently even while playing in a scheme that didn’t necessarily maximize his skillset. Fortunately for Brown he has made it to the next step in his football career, and I’m here today to tell you that we are about to see a new and improved player at the professional level.
It’s only February, so that means Andrew Brown has only been out of school for a few months, but he’s already helped his draft stock a ton with an exceptional week down at the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month. Brown lined up as an under-tackle in the 4-3 front down in Mobile, and was able to show his disruption when playing as a three-technique in the one-gap scheme.
Brown flashed his explosive first step, exceptional inside move, his variety of pass rush moves, and violent hands all week in one-on-one’s and even in the team portion of practices. Not only did Brown do an excellent job of rushing the passer in Mobile, but he also was a very solid player against the run. Brown showed the ability to be physical at the point of attack and showed no problems shedding blocks, holding up against double teams, and staying disciplined when rushing upfield in practices.
What makes Andrew Brown such an intriguing prospect is how good his get off is, and how technically refined his hands are as an interior defender. I thought those were the most impressive aspects of Brown’s game when evaluating him down in Mobile, along with his ability to win with speed and strength. Even in an extremely deep defensive tackle class, Andrew Brown has the best first step out of everyone I have evaluated so far.
Andrew Brown has unreal snap quickness pic.twitter.com/gxtP0GeMxp
— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 27, 2018
Brown shows an excellent amount of strength in his upper and lower half here to hold up against the combo block and is even able to make a play on the running back at the line of scrimmage. It’s not very often we see sub 300 pound three-techniques hold up against the run as well as Andrew Brown does in this next clip.
— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 28, 2018
Here’s another excellent play from Brown. In this clip you see how great of a first step he has, and then he shows his change of direction and athletic ability to make the tackle on the running back while still being engaged with the offensive lineman. This play may not look like much, but it really is one of the better plays you’ll see from the under-tackle position.
Andrew Brown (@DrizoBeats) with a great get off. Gets knockback on his blocker & makes the tackle!
— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 28, 2018
Maybe it’s just because they both wear 99, but this is an Aaron Donald like play from Brown in 9 on 7 drills during practice. Again, you see how ridiculous Andrew Brown’s first step and explosion off the ball is here. These are the type’s of plays that make me believe that the former five star recruit could have a much better career playing as a three-tech in a 4-3 scheme than what he did in Virginia’s two gap scheme.
Andrew Brown gets penetration into the backfield. pic.twitter.com/xoilJzqNTo
— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 25, 2018
Andrew Brown heads to the NFL Scouting Combine in just a few days, where I’m sure he’ll leave being one of the most athletic defensive tackles in attendance. I predict that Brown will end up in the top five in the fastest 40 yard dash, highest vertical jump, and he’ll have one of the best weigh ins out of all the DT’s in Indianapolis. Along with his ability on the field and his athletic specimen, Brown is one of the more impressive physical specimens in this year’s draft class passing the “eye test” with flying colors.
If put in the right scheme, I think Virginia’s Andrew Brown could make a serious impact in year one for whatever team lands the former five star recruit. Whatever lucky team decides to draft the 6’3”, 294 pound defensive tackle will be getting a player who has the potential to be a Pro Bowler on the field, but an even better guy off the field.
I spoke with Andrew just a few week’s ago and his drive to be successful and his passion for the game is obvious. Brown said nothing is going to stand in his way and he is ready to absolutely take over the league and prove to everyone and whoever doubted him how wrong they were. If his Combine performance is anything like his performance at the Senior Bowl, we’ll all be talking about Andrew Brown as a top 50 player by the time we get to draft day at the end of April.