What I Learned Watching: Derrick Brown

Matt DeBary takes a look at Lanier DL Derrick Brown's film.

As you might know by now, Lanier High’s Derrick Brown has become one of the top prospects in the entire country. The five star defensive and currently ranks as the third best prospect in the country, as well as the top player in Georgia for the 2016 class. I saw him dominate the rising seniors game, and his film during his junior season makes me believe that Brown will have an immediate impact as a freshman. Listed at 6’5, 290 lbs., Brown has the frame to play DE or DT at the next level. He is strong, he’s explosive off the line, and has a relentless motor.

The first thing I noticed on film was that Brown absolutely lives in the backfield. Whether he is rushing the passer or stopping the run, Brown always finds a way into the opponent’s backfield. When lined up at defensive and, Brown has the speed needed to get outside of the tackle, and has the quickness to get inside the tackle and guard. He can use a nice little swim move to get by defenders, but he is also strong enough to bullrush over them. When lined up at defensive tackle, Brown does an excellent job of stuffing the gaps, forcing the opposing back to get creative and find another hole.

Although Brown has the frame to get even bigger, he still has more than enough strength. I did not see one offensive lineman on film, or during the rising seniors game, that pushed Brown backwards. When he wasn’t spinning around defenders, Brown was using his strength to throw linemen around, essentially toying with them. Other big and strong lineman across the country use strength to their advantage, but not the way Brown does. He just makes it look so easy. After just a few minutes of watching him play, you can tell that he is just on another level. Even when he played against the best in the state, Brown was the guy who stood out.

The thing I found most impressed with in Brown film was the fact that he has a motor like no one else I’ve seen. He dominated when he is around the football, but many of Brown’s better plays, some while forcing a turnover, were when Brown was chasing down a defender. With most large lineman, if they don’t make the tackle at or behind the line of scrimmage, they are not in position to make a play on the defender, leaving it up to the linebackers and the secondary to make the tackle. Brown does an excellent job locating the ball carrier down the field, and has good speed for a guy his size. There were two plays in particular that really stood out. On separate plays, the back had made it through the line, deciding on his next move to get by the linebackers. Brown comes flying from behind, destroyed the back, and the ball came flying out both times. There are quite a few defensive linemen in this class that will become starters in college, but none of them can make some of the plays that Derrick Brown can.

Overall, I think Derrick Brown is the top player in the state of Georgia for the 2016 class. He’s big, strong, quick, explosive, and has a motor than can’t be taught. He makes plays all over the field, and is a guy who should be able to wreak havoc in the opponent’s backfield throughout his collegiate career.

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