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Sydney Brown NFL Draft
NFL Draft

What Are Sydney Brown’s 4 Best NFL Team Fits?

  • Jack McKessy
  • April 18, 2023
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One of the most impressive players at this year’s Senior Bowl was Illinois safety Sydney Brown, who shined in college and in Mobile for his ability to lock down receivers and tight ends both in the slot and downfield. His fantastic athleticism shows up on tape in his ability to close on the football and finish plays and was on full display at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine as well. Pairing that athleticism with phenomenal instincts has allowed Brown to show off his versatility. He can play in the slot over tight ends, as a deep safety, or even drop down in a linebacker-type role to defend against the run.

Brown is a very high IQ player and excellent athlete coming out of the Fighting Illini program, and these four teams would be his best NFL fits in the upcoming draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers currently have just three safeties on their roster with Logan Ryan still a free agent and Mike Edwards departing for Kansas City. They brought in Ryan Neal, who had a solid breakout season as a 10-game starter for the Seattle Seahawks last season. That isn’t enough though for a team that just has Neal, Antoine Winfield Jr.—who played heavily in the slot last year—and second-year Nolan Turner coming off of a primary special teams role in his rookie season. 

Brown can provide the versatility to play any role the Buccaneers need him in their secondary and solid depth to a position that really needs it in Tampa if not an immediate starter in his rookie season.

Atlanta Falcons

Safety may not seem like a pressing need for the Falcons at first glance. They have an enforcer at the position in Richie Grant and just brought in one of the—if not the—top safeties on the market when they signed Jessie Bates III in free agency. However, Jaylinn Hawkins is entering the last year of his rookie deal after a strong 2022 season. The Falcons could use another young, versatile safety in their secondary, especially if new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen brings the Saints’ low rate of single-high safety looks with him from New Orleans. 

Brown is that kind of guy that can play anywhere he’s asked and succeed doing it. In fact, the Falcons have already had a top-30 visit with the Illinois product, so keep an eye out for this fit come the draft.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers’ 2022 strong safety, Adrian Amos, is still a free agent. That leaves the top two safeties currently on the roster as Darnell Savage and Rudy Ford, so it’s fair to call safety a position in need of an upgrade to help out the standout group of cornerbacks in Green Bay. Brown could be that upgrade on day two of the draft as a physical defender that brings it on every play from wherever he’s lined up. W

ith tight ends in the division like Robert Tonyan in Chicago and T.J. Hockenson in Minnesota (plus whatever upgrade the Lions likely get in the draft), along with all of the receiver talent in the NFC North, the Packers need a defender they can rely on to play and win from multiple spots. Brown has the versatility, athleticism, and IQ to be that guy.

New York Jets

The Jets made a strong upgrade at safety by trading for former Raven Chuck Clark to begin the offseason. They’ll pair him with Jordan Whitehead as their starters in 2023, flanking a very strong cornerback duo in Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. However, both Clark and Whitehead are free agents after this season, so New York could use another injection of youth into their secondary as depth now and as a starter as soon as next year. 

Brown could fit whatever role head coach Robert Saleh wants him to play this year or next year. He can be an important special teams player as soon as this year or an extra defensive back in subpackages. By 2024, he could step into a starting role as another pillar of a young Jets secondary that will be one of the strongest in the NFL.