Man Cover Skills –He'll get exposed in turn and run situations because he simply doesn't have the juice needed to defender vertically. It's easy to like his combativeness when transitioning into ball skill mode, he pins and rides receivers well. Not a very bursty athlete to stay sticky, though.
Zone Cover Skills –Thought he did well when keying in the backfield, feet showed good cadence here to keep himself leveraged and read the play in action. Playing him off and with cushion can help mask for his long speed, but he'll need to bust tail to stay over the top.
Feet/Change of Direction –He's balanced on his backpedal, which helps stabilize him in zone and allow him a chance to drive forward because he's under control. That said, when he takes he bucket step he doesn't general a lot of oomph or spring to get forward with suddenness.
Ball Skills –Has converted a lot of turnover opportunities over the course of his career. He's done well to pluck the ball and he's able to elevate and play off the rim to attack the ball. His wingspan and reach are noticeable and allow him to play around the body.
Flexibility –Didn't give the impression that he has a ton to offer here, even in basic pursuit his feet are static under his hips. He's not capable of a lot of hip rotation and able to keep his eyes in the backfield when he plays bail technique, he'll lose speed vertically playing this way.
Acceleration –This one is a big issue. His current speed is almost crippling for the next level, particularly when considering he's also fairly limited in lateral situations as well. He'll need deep help and he almost assuredly can't play reliably one on one outside unless he finds more twitch.
Zone Spacing – While he's more intuitive and instinctive overhead, it does expose some limitations in burst and lateral quickness when needed to snap into action to contest routes. He'll be pressed to get involved with underneath quick game vs. his coverage.
Competitive Toughness –Admire his physicality, particularly at the catch point. He does well to stay tight on the body and fight for real estate, he'll effectively box out and eliminate targets when he's attached as the ball arrives. He's not the most confident or powerful as a tackler after the catch.
Run Support –Could take him or leave him, in this capacity. He's not super enthusiastic about stacking and shedding blockers and he's not overly quick to square up tackles, even when he's quick to see the play and able to step forward.
Tackling –Doesn't always get his body in front of the ball carrier, more of a roll tackler who doesn't drive through contact but looks to get limbs caught up in the aftermath of his arrival. Hardly a strength but his size offers optimism.
PROSPECT COMPARISON - Ross Cockrell
BEST TRAIT – Ball Skills
WORST TRAIT – Long Speed
BEST FILM – LSU (2017)
WORST FILM – Boise State (2018)
RED FLAGS – 2017 ACL tear
With attractive physical traits, Blace Brown is a bit of a wildcard in this year's class. Clearly missing a step from where he was physically in 2017 (prior to ACL tear), how far away from 100% is Brown and what does that timetable look like? Brown has nice ball skills and is a heady defender, projecting favorably to zone coverages with his route recognition and field vision can be best implemented. Return of explosiveness is essential.
Round Grade - Seventh Round