Showcases good balance in and out of his breaks with the ability to cleanly change directions and quickly locate the football. Will get a bit overextend with his footwork in off-coverage and lacks an elite initial closing burst, but is very patient/instinctive in man-coverage and exhibits the body control needed to cleanly redirect and consistently make plays on the football.
Displays good straight-line speed down the field and has the ability to quickly recover when asked to get vertical. Now, he will get a bit leggy out of his sidesaddle in zone when asked to turn and run down the field and it does take him a couple steps to get going. However, he's very comfortable in zone-coverage, disguising his technique off the line, instantly locating the football and quickly breaking on throws.
Doesn't play nearly as tough in the run game as his size would indicate. Lacks great power at the point of attack, will stick his head into tackles on the outside, but isn't a real consistent wrap-up or even drag-down guy. Will work hard to disengage from blocks and isn't a guy who's content to be sealed on the outside.
Impression: He's tall, long and fluid, and runs well for his size. I think he has the ability to play in just about any scheme at the next level and should be a starter on the outside early in his NFL career. Looks like one of the best cover men in the draft, but there are question marks about his ability to tackle."
Man Coverage: Typically plays man, both on the line and well off to prevent big plays. Has both lateral and straight-line quickness, able to run with any receiver down the field or over the middle. Mirrors routes very well, can stop-start as well as any corner in the country. Receiver-like hands on interceptions, excellent hand-eye coordination and body control to knock away passes in front of the receiver without drawing a flag. High-points jump balls using good position as well as his height and vertical. Athletic enough to recover even if a step late recognizing a ball coming in his direction. Must stay in his backpedal longer, gets high too quickly out of his stance, flips his hips early, and stays on the balls of his feet -- all of which will allow NFL receivers to get open on quick cuts and inside slants.
Zone Coverage: Though potential better in man, has a chance to play in an NFL zone system. Fluid enough to get into his zone quickly, keeps his head on a swivel to see receivers in his area. Good closing speed to balls in front or to the side of him, able to get to the ball before receiver secures the ball. Capable tackler on plays in front of him to prevent yards after the catch.
Closing/Recovery: Closes with a burst yet under control, whether attacking receivers in front of him or coming on the blitz. Good recovery speed to get back to receiver if he is beat initially inside or down the sideline. Times jumps well to knock away high passes or get in front of the receiver without interfering.
Run Support: Not the most physical cornerback, but is aggressive to the ball against the run and bubble screens. Very effective cut tackler to knock down backs coming in his area. Gets to the ballcarrier's outside shoulder to force plays to the linebackers and safeties inside. His slight frame allows larger, aggressive receivers to push him around on the edge despite his willingness mix it up. Works to get through those blocks, though, sometimes getting to the ballcarrier despite being held up at first.
Tackling: Likes to throw his body into the play but lacks strength and is very inconsistent in his fundamentals. Makes open-field tackles against receivers and as a gunner on special teams units by closing quickly, mirroring their lateral movement, and breaking down to get a hand those elusive runners. Capable of planting receivers when staying square and moving his feet through the ball. Will chase plays from behind on his side of the field. Throws shoulder into running backs when supporting the run near the line, but often fails to keep his head up and wrap so they can bounce off to make additional yards. Larger receivers and quarterbacks can shed his tackle attempts, as well, when he does not stay square and low.
Intangibles: Very quiet as a high school recruit -- head coach Mack Brown thought he lacked confidence and suggested it might be best if he did not go to Austin -- bur he has come out of his shell over time. Grew up with his grandmother because of an unstable home environment. Father, Aundray Taylor, played football as a freshman at Oklahoma State and his uncle, Hosea Taylor played defensive end for the University of Houston and was an eighth-round pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1981."
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."
The Gilmer High School product was the third best cornerback prospect in the 2007 recruiting class. He played in nearly every game of his four year career and starting his last two seasons with the Longhorns. In a crowded backfield, he still found a way to make a name for himself as teams began trying to throw away from him,
Brown is quite the athlete. He is blessed with exceptional speed, and quickness. He does a nice job of turning his hips, and looks back for the football to make a play on it. He has big play ability and is a threat to make the interception and take it back all the way for the end zone, with proper coaching at the next level. He has very fluid hips, and a quality back pedal, making his technique fantastic. He’s an above average zone corner who has the speed and athleticism to stick with his opposition in man coverage as well.
Brown isn’t the most physical player, and his smaller frame is somewhat of a concern. He will get bullied by physical wide receivers, and he’s not a good candidate for the bump and run. He needs to learn how to properly make a tackle. He will often miss tackles in the open field, struggling to break down and stay low. He gets caught out of position at times when he’s looking into the backfield.
Brown is my biggest cornerback candidate to make a rise in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has late first round talent and ability, but much is left to be desired with him. He could sneak into the middle of the second round, but is a better fit for a third round selection. Miami, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia are great fits for Brown’s talents.
NFL Comparison: Johnathan Joseph "
Positive: Fundamentally sound cornerback who has good quickness. Fluid moving in reverse, can flip his hips and loses nothing in transition. Displays a burst of speed, drives to the ball out of his plant, and quickly breaks to the play. Gets vertical and contorts to defend passes. Effective facing the action. Gives effort against the run.
Negative: Slow to react on occasion. Gets out-positioned and beaten by opponents. Lacks top end speed.
Analysis: Brown offers a lot of skills for the next level and offers terrific fundamentals. He lacks great speed but will be very effective backed off the line of scrimmage or in a zone system. Brown could see action in nickel or dime package as a rookie and eventually develop into a starter."
Negatives: Needs to be more aggressive in run support and more willing to tackle... Must add muscle to his frame... Will struggle against bigger and more physical receivers without adding muscle... Can be overaggressive in coverage... Needs to polish up technique... Has not played much in zone coverage... Can be sloppy at times"
2009 -- Started 14 games at CB. Named Honorable Mention All-American by both the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly.
Strengths: Tough, scrappy corner ideally suited for Tampa-2 type schemes at the next level. Good corner physique with long arms. Good feet, agility and quickness. Prefers off coverage, and closes quickly on plays in front of him. Loves to mix it up in the run game; attacks both blockers and ballcarriers.
Weaknesses: Not ruggedly built and may face injuries with his reckless play. Not an elite athlete for the position, and not used much in press, man-to-man coverage. Lacks elite speed and can be beaten deep.
Projection: Mid-round pick who may go as high as the third round. Not an elite, #1 shutdown corner, but more than adequate in zone schemes and should develop into a solid nickel or #2 corner in time."
The opposition has learned to throw away from Brown so his numbers in 2010 have not been as great as those in 2009. However, he did return an interception for 74 yards and a score and is still a major threat to break a big play at any given moment. On top of that he only has 14 tackles, but he has broken up four passes and defended five others, so he is doing his job in coverage situations.
Brown's speed and athleticism will make him a very attractive cornerback to the NFL. If he continues to put up good numbers and performs as well at the NFL Combine as he is expected, Brown could sneak into the first round and be the third or fourth best corner in this class."
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