A Look At 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Andrew Brown As A Potential Selection By The Detroit Lions
With the addition of new Lions head coach Matt Patricia, it likely that we will see some scheme changes among the defensive line. At the very least, it will have some very different looking fronts than the 4-3 defense we have seen the past three seasons in Detroit. There will likely be a need for players who can line up at 3′ and 5′ as a pass-rushing defensive tackle in the 4-3 and big end in 3-4. While I do not see him going on day one or two, the Lions could find a quality player that fits that position, in selecting Andrew Brown from Virginia.
Andrew Brown Offers Versatility And Quickness
The very first play I put on of Andrew Brown, I was immediately impressed with how quick his first step and snap anticipation are. This really helps him win many of his battles in the trenches before they even start. He was very disruptive working both the inside and outside. At 6’4, 292 lbs, he has the frame to hold up inside, with the lateral quickness and forward tilt to be a threat as a pass rusher as the “closed” defensive end (the end covered up on the line by the SAM linebacker).
But Brown is not all athletic ability. There is some technical savvy to his game as well. His gap discipline was quite good in college. His motor was always churning and was constantly looking for the ball-carrier until the whistle blew.
What Brown Needs To Refine In The NFL
The first thing Brown needs to work on his rookie season is his hand usage. One of the major factors holding his production back and keeping him from taking games over is his poor hand usage. Too often he tries grabbing at the shoulders of the offensive lineman to throw them out of his path. The problem is he gives up leverage often in doing so.
While his rip technique is quite good, it is really his only developed move to this point. He is going to need to develop counters when the rip does stall, but he also needs to recognize when it has stalled, more quickly. He should also spend some time doing pursuit drills to take better angles to the ball-carrier.
If the Lions were to take Brown, I highly doubt it would be until day three. Someone with Brown’s athletic ability and scheme versatility will likely be sought after and could go early on day three, however. If the Lions feel comfortable taking Brown in the fourth, it could serve to help fill depth along their interior line, while adding pass rush ability to one of worst pass rushing defenses from last season.