At a listed 6’5”, 318 pounds, the senior All-American Auburn defensive captain recorded 55 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries in 13 starts for the Tigers defense in 2019.
This past season, he was also named 1st-Team All-SEC and SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Brown has widely been projected to be a Top 10 pick and is arguably the top defensive tackle prospect in this year’s draft class—meaning it would be highly surprising to see him fall all the way to #13 where the Colts are currently selecting.
That being said, if Brinson is right and Brown is shockingly available at #13, it would indeed be a ‘slam dunk’ for the Colts. [In fact, I’ll offer to drive and pick him up from the Indy airport (although team owner Jim Irsay’s private jet is probably much more enticing).]
Regarding the Colts defense, general manager Chris Ballard has repeatedly stated that the “three technique drives this thing”, and Brown has the rare combination of strength, explosion, and surprising quickness—matched with sound technique for a player of his size to be a dynamic player at defensive tackle for Indianapolis.
With his relentless motor, Brown can be a bonafide ‘game wrecker’ along the interior of the Colts defensive line, and he should be a force in the NFL at both stopping the run and penetrating the passing pocket from the inside.
Regarding his natural fit in Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ ‘Cover 2’ scheme, ESPN Draft Analyst Todd McShay called Brown,“Your classic Tampa 2 defensive tackle . . . think about Warren Sapp. One gap, get up the field and just disrupt. Blow the play up. That’s what [Brown] does.”
While McShay later cautioned that Brown won’t be quite the same caliber of pass rusher as Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, he fully expects him to ‘disrupt’ when getting after the quarterback.
Here’s what others are saying on Brown:
I normally watch 3-4 games on every NFL prospect I study. I just watched 1 game on Auburn DT and turned off the tape. That was easy scouting. Freak!— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) October 10, 2019
Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw are two of my favorite guys to watch this season. Both are SUPER aggressive and powerful off the snap.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 29, 2019
Brown in my top 10, Kinlaw in my top 20
Don’t just call Derrick Brown a “beast” or “monster” without acknowledging that man’s technique. Rumble young man, rumble. pic.twitter.com/QFc2e6nESE— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) December 14, 2019
Derrick Brown didn't miss a single tackle on 42 attempts all season and had a 90.6 pass-rushing grade.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 30, 2019
He may be the most powerful DL in college football. pic.twitter.com/gClJY25MZJ
Derrick Brown's game was LSU was phenomenal. https://t.co/iEtD94lkvB— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) February 8, 2020
They say the low man wins here is a great example from Brown pic.twitter.com/5pzOGTGqX3— Marc John (@TheMarcJohnNFL) February 8, 2020
If Brown is actually there at #13 for the Colts, it may be one of the easiest selections that Ballard will ever make during his Indianapolis tenure.
The Colts have a major need at defensive tackle, and Brown is arguably the best player at the position—who is so good, he isn’t even expected to be there.
He’s also a natural fit in the Colts’ Cover 2 defensive scheme.
While quarterback and wide receiver remain other key team deficiencies this offseason, Brown may be entirely too enticing to pass up given the talent, the fit, and the need.
Simply put, he checks all the boxes for the Colts—and at a very, very high level.