What can Brown do for you?

The Dallas Cowboys might have pulled off one of the steals of the draft in the seventh round, snagging Cal-Poly CB Courtney Brown (6-1, 205, 4.32), who some pre-draft prognosticators had pegged to go as high as the third round.

CB Courtney Brown Profile

There's no question Brown's stock was hampered by the fact that he played against mediocre competition. He had 51 tackles (33 solo) and seven pass break-ups last year en route to first-team All-Great West Football Conference honors, allowing just 29 catches and no touchdowns.

Brown – who is not related to the defensive end with the same name – has the tools to be a terrific NFL corner.

His pure speed is as good as any, and there are precious few corners with his combination of size and speed. In his career at Cal-Poly, he played in 41 games, starting 31. He totaled 111 tackles (75 solo) and intercepted 10 passes, including seven picks in 2005.

He accelerates very quickly and adds to his height with long arms and excellent leaping ability. But he did slip for a reason: most scouts feel he needs to improve his footwork and work on his hips to break out of his backpedal more quickly.

At the level of competition Cal-Poly faces, he usually had the raw speed and athletic ability to shut down whatever receiver he faced, and therefore didn't refine his technique to the level he'll need to at the NFL level. He also has a tendency at times to get too aggressive, and can be sucked into lunging prematurely with a pump-fake by the quarterback. But both of those tendencies can be corrected through coaching and through a willingness to learn from top cornerbacks like Terence Newman, Anthony Henry and Aaron Glenn.

While he sometimes bites to early in pass coverage, he needs to learn to be more aggressive in run support. With a little added strength – and he has added significant muscle in the last couple of years through a new-found dedication in the weight room – he has drawn comparisons to Henry and even Baltimore's Chris McAllister, who is considered among the top cornerbacks in the entire NFL. He has everything coaches look for: size, speed, long arms, quickness and the ability to time his jumps and fight for the ball. With some polish on his technique, Brown might well emerge as the best player the Cowboys draft this year.

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