Ike Taylor Thinks Antonio Brown Dropped In 2010 Draft Because He Was A Hothead

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished second in the league this past year in both catches and receiving yardage, which just so happened to set a new franchise receiving record. So what led to small school guy such as Brown being passed over in 2010 by every team in the league until the Steelers selected him in the sixth-round with the 195th overall selection? Monday on the Dave Dameshek Football Program, cornerback Ike Taylor chimed in with his thoughts on the Central Michigan product.

“We all have some kind of flaws, ain’t nobody flawless, and his coming out of college was he was a hothead,” said Taylor of Brown. “So he was a bad case for a lot of teams. That’s why he dropped to like the fifth or sixth round, but as far as like talent wise, there’s no other talented receiver than Antonio Brown and you can just see.”

Brown  certainly wasn’t without his share of warts coming out of college, but I can’t say that I remember any talk of character concerns being associated with him. Below is the short scouting report that NFL.com had on him prior to the draft.


Brown is an extremely productive receiver from a relatively smaller level football program that could use another year in college to continue to develop physically. He is undersized and will initially struggle with the physical aspects of the game at the next level. He generally has lined up out of the slot and would have trouble with his release against some of the physical cornerbacks at the next level if he lines up on the line of scrimmage. He is explosive off the line and will show a good burst out of his speed cuts but needs work on his hard cuts and underneath routes. He has decent hands but it looks like the ball gets big on him at times and he traps too many passes in his body.


Brown has a really nice combination of quickness and speed. Has been extremely productive during his college career. Shows very impressive initial quickness when exploding off the line. Displays good agility as a route-runner and with the ball after the catch.


Lacks size. Not tall and does not possess enough bulk at this time. Needs to add strength to more effectively beat press coverage and battled for the ball in the air. Route running skills could use some refinement. Needs to become more consistent catching the ball in a crowd.

After catching just 16 passes for 167 yard his rookie season, Brown really exploded onto the scene in his second season as he registered 69 catches for 1,108 yards. That season was set up by him having a fantastic training camp as he benefited greatly from Hines Ward and Emmanuel Sanders being slowed early on by injuries and rehab. That hard work and production resulted in him getting a new contract prior to the start of the 2012 season and Taylor talked about Brown’s work ethic on Monday.

“I just go against him everyday, see what he can do everyday,” said Taylor. “The young kid, regardless of how he got into the NFL, he’s a hard worker, a very hard worker. He wants to be the best.”

It’s easy to just look past players that are drafted in the later rounds, but as Brown and Kelvin Beachum have now shown us, heart and determination are two measurables that don’t have stats attached to them during the NFL combine and Pro Days.

With so many needs headed into the 2014 NFL Draft, hopefully the Steelers can find a few more late round gems such as Brown and Beachum.

  • 20Stoney

    Yet teams will take early round chances on guys with criminal and drug issues. I doubt that being a hothead had a lot to do with it.

  • steeltown

    Yea I don’t see that as the main issue either, soo many players with attitude problems or off-field issues but still drafted high regardless because of talent. I think it had way more to do with not only his size but also the school he went to

  • srdan

    His rookie year was nothing big, until the Ravens playoff game.

    We often harp on the early round whiffs of the current coaching staff and FO. But rarely do we give them credit for the Harrisons, Browns, Wallaces….. We have to take the good with the bad.

  • David Edward

    I think one of the reasons he fell in the draft was his unimpressive numbers at the combine. He ran a 4.56 forty, which at 5’10 186 would get him lost in a crowd. He came back later and ran a 4.48 at his pro day, but being a small school kid, not sure how well attended it was. Still hard to believe those were his times…he plays like a sub 4.4 guy to me. I think many overlooked his agility.

  • Chad H

    If I remember correctly the Steelers were up there scouting another player when they noticed AB.

  • Jeff

    It’s definitely hard to believe he hovered around 4.5….. Since then he either he got faster, or he just doesn’t lose any speed when he makes cut which makes him look faster.

  • Brendon Glad

    I love Antonio Brown as a Steeler. I also appreciate how hard Haley and Ben work to get him his targets.
    The man is electric with the ball in his hands, and i can honestly say it only took one preseason game his rookie year for me to immediately have big dreams for him…& he hasnt disappointed

  • RW

    I suspect it was mainly the school he went to – one only needs to look as far as Tavon Austin last year to know that. It’s why I’m still surprised the Khalil Mack is considered such a coveted prospect. I guess position makes a big difference, too.

  • Kevin artis

    The scouting report never mentioned his punt return abilities. I wonder if that was something he did very little of at Central Michigan?

  • steeltown

    He was named First Team All-American as a punt returner ’08 and ’09

  • srdan

    Great point. He looks to me like the most explosive guy in the NFL, at any position.

    Hmmm, I find this interesting. I quickly looked his stats up at the combine. He had to be hurt.

    He had the worst broad jump out of everyone that year. Care to guess who had the best?

  • Alan Felicia

    Wallaces? The Steelers got plenty of credit for drafting Mike Wallace in the 3rd Rd in 2009.

  • James Kling

    Sometimes these tenths of a second are a little misleading. AB’s got football speed, which serves to remind us that track speed is not the be-all end-all.

  • James Kling

    I was excited about Sanders when we drafted him. I thought he’d become the player AB is today. But maybe coming from a small school and getting drafted later gave AB incentive, a chip on his shoulder. I’ve never considered him a hothead, he comes across as level-headed in interviews, how he prepares for the game. And meanwhile, Sanders has never put it together the same way, which is a shame, because he clearly has the physical skills.

    Ben has a window of a few years yet. The late-season coalescing of the OL gives hope, but having AB and now Bell are promising developments. Wheaton was snake-bitten as a rookie, but if he can live up to potential, this offense could be very exciting.

  • Jay Jaber

    Dez Bryant? I’m guessing

  • Steve

    Don’t forget Miller and Cotchery, who are other targets for Ben.

  • Jones

    I assume he meant their decision to let him go and give AB the big contract instead.

  • Intropy

    That’s a really good scouting report. There were four knocks on Brown: size, 40 time, catching mechanics, and route running. What has made Brown so good and such a steal is that mechanics and routes are things you can improve, and he worked hard with the benefit of NFL coaching and improved both substantially. 40 times are overweighted – they show a useful but limited window into a players “football speed” and for some guys, like Brown, that window just happens to show their weakest feature. He’ll never have size though; you can’t have everything.

  • OIF3gunner

    Unless your name is Calvin Johnson.

  • Intropy

    Or AJ Green.

    Okay, let’s just say it’s very rare to have everything.

  • James Kling

    I was focusing on AB and Bell as young and developing targets. Miller and Cotch are also good for now, but we will need to draft a new TE in the foreseeable future too.

  • srdan

    Great guess.

    Manny Sanders. He was near the top of a lot of categories, and had the longest broad jump.

  • Robert Schultz

    A lot of people over look (or don’t even consider), a young draft prospect’s heart and determination. Those factors, plus a prospect’s intelligence are just as important as his size and skills.

    Take Hine’s Ward for example, he was relatively slow and not particularly real shifty either, but Hines’s heart and determination is what gave him his true Warrior status!

    Another example, is Willie Colon. He wasn’t the most talented Guard out there by far, but man, was this dude ever a Warrior as well! I loved when he grinded that dude into the turf! That is heart right there!

    Next, take Mike Adams. This dude has the perfect size. Not sure about his skill set and abilities, but he lacks the heart and determination that the examples above have. Intelligence ? Well, maybe some of DeCastro’s extra brain cells will make it’s way over to Michael.

    Anyways, I’m glad the Steeler’s put an emphasis on not drafting the Circus clowns with the huge egos, bad attitudes and most importantly their character flaws. Character flaws are extremely difficult to over come (ie Hernandez) a nightmare and a PITA for their teammates, coaching staff owners and most importantly, us fans!

    I can’t wait for the 2014 Draft to get here! I hate this time of year! LOL!

  • Lucero

    I think the point is “character” issues gain more importance as teams go further into the draft. Smaller school guys get punished for a lot of things the higher draft picks get a pass on. Does seem like it should be the other way around though… considering how much money is at stake in the higher rounds.

  • Lucero

    Exactly. Speed on the field in the game is so much more meaningful than how fast a guy can run in a straight line on turf or a track.

  • Whistler101

    Scouts and GMs have some of the biggest egos around. I’ve been a draft fanatic since the ’70s, well before it’s become the spectacle it is now. They love the numbers (height, weight, speed, strength etc., but be crazy productive on the football field? Or play for a smaller college? Nah. It’s been proven time and time again but they will never learn production outways measurables in the vast majority of cases. Period.