2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Ohio ILB Blair Brown

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Blair Brown/Ohio U. ILB – 5’11” 238 lbs.

The Good:

– Instinctive and intense player.
– Good vision, no hesitation to hitting the hole to find the ball
– Gifted open-field tackler, who rarely misses
– Short area burst, explosive in space
– Natural run defender, slipping off blocks and delivering hits
– Sideline to sideline player

The Bad:

– Short height, short arms
– Has some issues disengaging from taller, longer blockers
– Makes a lot of contact with his shoulders
– Not a natural dropping back into pass coverage or keeping up with quick twitch backs running routes
– Can get fooled by play fakes because of his aggressiveness

Bio:

– Two-star recruit in California, originally was going to Florida Atlantic
– Captain of high school football team sophomore, junior, and senior years
– Red-shirted 2012
– First team All-MAC pick in 2016
– Finished his college career with 151 career solo tackles, 115 assists, 25.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 3 passes defended,2 forced fumbles

Tape Breakdown:

The right inside backer, Brown, reads the offensive tackle off the snap of the ball coming to his right. He quickly steps up to fill the hole, and dips underneath the blocker. Brown engulfs the quick twitched Alvin Kamara for a short gain.

Playing inside backer, Brown senses a screen developing when the two offensive linemen on his side start pulling. He closes quickly and avoids the linemen while wrapping up Kamara for a nice open field tackle.

Brown playing a little wider than usually, stacked behind the right defensive end reads sweep immediately off the snap of the ball. He quickly flows more outside which allows the center to chip block him out of the way. The runner dips back inside for a nice gain.

The middle backer is playing two yards of the line of scrimmage. He walks up to the A-Gap to attack, but is knocked back. Brown reads the QB rolling out of the pocket and steps up, only to see the pigskin launched. The Bobcat defender flows to the receiver and watches them get stripped by a teammate who scoops up the ball for a fumble recovery.

After watching Brown, he reminded me a bit of a more physical Vince Williams. He is very instinctive, loves to hit, rarely misses a tackle, and plays the run extremely well. The backer needs to improve his coverage skills and/or become more of an inside rusher to make an impact on 3rd downs and passing situations. Brown is almost a throwback player who would have dominated in the 70’s. He could provide good depth to the Steelers linebacker corps and be a strong special teams contributor.

Projection: Late 3rd to early 5th round

Games Watched: @Tennessee, @Troy, @Idaho (2015)

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoGareon Conley
Taco Charlton Elijah McGuireRyan SwitzerTanoh KpassagnonTre’Davious White
Brian HillMatthew DayesDonnel PumphreyJosh ReynoldsNazair Jones
De’Veon SmithDavis WebbObi MelifonwuTJ WattJohn Ross
Jerod EvansVince BiegelJosh CarrawayJosh MaloneKevin King
Fadol BrownChris GodwinNate GerryJordan WillisStacy Coley
Zay JonesJimmie GilbertGlen AntoineTarell BashamDuke Riley
Rayshawn JenkinsChad KellyTrey HendricksonJeremy SprinkleJoe Williams
D’Onta ForemanCarlos WatkinsDamontae KazeeWayne GallmanWillie Quinn
Xavier WoodsElijah HoodMalik McDowellDesmond KingSolomon Thomas
Cordrea TankersleyRaekwon McMillanJosh Harvey-ClemonsChristian McCaffreyChris Carson
Montravius AdamsAaron JonesMack HollinsDeatrich Wise JrAdoree’ Jackson
JuJu Smith-SchusterJosh JonesDavon GodchauxLorenzo JeromeQuincy Wilson
Stevie Tu’ikolovatuMike WilliamsAhkello WitherspoonDede WestbrookTedric Thompson
Marcus MayeJoe MixonTaywan TaylorTyson FernandezJarrad Davis
Ishmael ZamoraDaeshon HallCJ BeathardKendell BeckwithJalen Reeves-Maybin
Rasul DouglasMarcus WilliamsDevonte FieldsJustin EvansKenny Golladay
Marquez WhiteChad WilliamsCurtis SamuelD.J. JonesSeth Russell
Amara DarbohNoah BrownMalik HookerCarroll PhillipsIsaiah Ford
Marlon HumphreyT.J. LoganJalen MyrickChad HansenEddie Jackson
Budda BakerJahad ThomasFabian MoreauMatt MilanoTashawn Bower
Jason CroomJamal AgnewHoward WilsonShaquill GriffinKeionta Davis
Michael RobertsTeez TaborShock LinwoodShelton GibsonChanning Stribling
Montae NicholsonNajee MurrayJoseph YearbyJustin DavisKD Cannon
Dawuane SmootLeonard FournetteJeremy CutrerSamson EbukamAdam Shaheen
Tarik CohenJake ButtGerald Everett

  • Rocksolid20

    No thanks , maybe UDFA

  • Steeler4l1f3

    I like him as a later (4th or 5th)round pick in the mold of Jatavis Brown, Deion Jones.. fast, instinctive, aggressive and undersized LBs that can play in nickel and dime.

    He has tremendous upside to develop in coverage as he tested as one of the top SPARQ athletes among all off ball LBs.

  • Shane Mitchell

    -Gifted open-field tackler, who rarely misses.

    Shoot, thats all I needed to hear, draft this man.

  • Shane Mitchell

    I love Jatavis Brown cant believe we didnt draft him after having him in for a visit, if he is anything like Jatavis Brown we should have his name on a draft card ready to hand to the commissioner already.

  • Andrew Miley

    He missed 3 tackles in 131 opportunities last season.

  • Matt Manzo

    That’s what I’m hoping for in a mid/late round ILB! A Jatavis Brown type! Seems like there’s a few to choose from this year.
    I was worried about Blair fitting into that but it’s a good point that his sparq numbers show some potential.

  • Shane Mitchell

    3 missed tackles, on the season! …Wow… We have guys that miss that many in one game.

  • Shane Mitchell

    He uploaded his own highlights video to youtube, I like what I saw, he not only tackles well but he takes on blocks like a man, he is one of those dudes that has way more pop than you would expect, he knocked a few pulling guards backwards and on their ass trying to block him.

  • Andrew Miley

    It was that highlight video that inspired me to write about him.

  • T3xassteelers

    More physical VW? I’d like you to tell VW that lol

  • Steeler4l1f3

    I know me too. I’m all for adding one of these players as one injury to Shazier and we have no depth to play on passing downs.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    More like 3 missed tackles in one quarter.

  • steelburg

    I like this guy his size is concerning a little but I like him.

  • Thanks Andrew, I liked him when looking at his teammate Basham, I think Alex did his profile but I liked Brown better at least as value.