According to a published report in this morning's Dayton Daily News (subscription required), the Browns are interested in Brandon Everage an intriguing free safety from Oklahoma who fell off of draft boards due to an injury his senior season. The Raiders, Cowboys, Bears, and 49ers are also reportedly interested in Everage.
Everage was considered to be a top safety prospect prior to the beginning of the 2004 season, when injury problems decimated his senior campaign. After his junior year, Everage was named to various All-American teams, including a first-team mention by the coaches, and was named first-team All-Big 12.
This is not the first time Everage's name has come up on Bernie's Insiders. Tony Pauline mentioned him as a possible selection for the Browns in an October draft chat, and Swerb thought he might be a potential second-round selection in his first draft mock.
So, what happened?
After the spectacular Junior campaign, Everage met with a number of bad breaks, one of them self-inflicted: he was suspended for the first game of the season following an arrest on a marijuana possession complaint. As the season opened, Everage was picked up again, this time due to driving violations.
During the fifth game of the season, against Texas, Everage suffered a torn rotator cuff, which he played through during the rest of the season. Even with the injury, Everage went on to tally 60 tackles and an interception. He underwent surgery after the season and will be able to be assessed on the field in July. Carlos "Big C" Holmes, who broke the story this morning in the DDN, reports that the Browns were impressed with Everage's interviews during the combine, offers that Everage might be in Cleveland to meet with the Browns as soon as July 12th.
Brandon Everage Scouting Report (Courtesy TFY Draft Preview)
Name: Brandon Everage School Oklahoma Year 5Sr
Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 194 40: 4.55 Pos: S
Bio: Three year starter who totaled 60/1/4 as a senior though he played half the season with a rotator cuff injury which required surgery in January. All American the prior season after totaling 94/6/11. Sophomore numbers were 55/2/8.
Positives: Explosive defensive back who competes hard and works to make positive plays. Quick moving up the field to defend the run, immediately locates the ball and flies around the action. Displays both closing and recovery speed, solid techniques in coverage as well as reaction to the ball. Tough and plays with pain; surgery on his rotator cuff was suggested back in October, yet he decided to play the rest of the season with a severely injured joint.
Negatives: Does not break down well and has poor tackling technique. Does not take good angles to the play, inefficient and overpursues the action. Still rehabbing from January's surgery and may not be able to work out until the middle of April.
Analysis: Impacting the Oklahoma defense since his sophomore season, Everage has been an intimidating force in center field. Best in a zone system where his man cover skills will be kept camouflaged, could be a value pick in the middle rounds.