What can Brown do to you?
Just ask the University of Wisconsin.
In the Champs Sports Bowl in late December, Florida State defensive end Everette Brown sacked the Badgers' quarterback, and the resulting fumble was returned for a touchdown in the Seminoles' 42-13 romp.
It's those kind of sudden-impact plays that were missing from the Green Bay Packers' defensive front seven last season, and it's a big reason why Brown will be under consideration to be the Packers' selection at No. 9 overall if he's available.
"Brown is a dynamic rush end who plays with a high motor and has tremendous quickness," Scout.com draft expert Chris Steuber said of Brown, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound collegiate defensive end who translates to an outside linebacker in the Packers' new 3-4 alignment.
"He has an elite first step and a few signature moves that allow him to get up field. He's incredibly strong, featuring a 480-pound bench press, and uses quickness and strength to his advantage. He uses his hands effectively, demonstrates good balance and coordination, and transitions well with the action. He's most effective as a defensive end, but in the right scheme, he could play outside linebacker.
Brown, who Steuber and most experts believe will be taken somewhere between picks Nos. 6 through 12, will be one of the most closely watched players at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month. Quite simply, Florida State's highly touted defensive ends haven't turned into Pro Bowlers in the NFL. You do remember Jamal Reynolds, right?
Brown finished with 13.5 sacks last season, which is tied with Reinard Wilson (1996) for third in school history behind Peter Boulware (19 in 1996) and Andre Wadsworth (16 in 1997) and 1.5 sacks more than Reynolds' best season. Brown's 23 sacks during his three-year career ties for fifth with Wadsworth (1994-97) and Alonso Jackson (1999-2002). Wilson owns that record, and Reynolds finished with 23.5 sacks.
Of that group, however, only Boulware, with 70 sacks and four Pro Bowl trips after being selected fourth overall by Baltimore in 1997, lived up to the hype.
In six NFL seasons, Wilson, the 14th pick in the 1997 draft, amassed 23 sacks. Wadsworth, the third pick in 1998, managed eight sacks in three seasons. Jackson, a second-round pick in 2003, didn't record a single sack in three seasons.
Reynolds, in case you forgot, managed three sacks in three seasons after being selected 10th in 2001. He, of course, wasn't the only Florida State flop drafted by the Packers. Defensive end Alphonso Carreker, the 12th pick in 1984 and still the No. 9 sacker in FSU history, had 19.5 sacks in five seasons in Green Bay. Four of those came against Steve Young in the famous "Snow Bowl" in 1985.
"Don't let the Florida State thing get to you, because Everette Brown is much different from those other two," Steuber said when asked about Brown, Reynolds and Wadsworth. "Brown is very explosive; tremendously quick off the edge. He has a solid repertoire of moves and a devastating spin move that will remind you of Dwight Freeney. The only knock I have against Brown is that he's purely a pass rusher and doesn't disengage against the opposition cleanly to defend the run. But in this league, being a dominant pass rusher is where you make your money, and in a few years, he will be among the best."
Still, it's not fair that Brown will have to battle that history — at least with fans. Everybody's different, after all — remember the critics who said Aaron Rodgers was just a product of Jeff Tedford's system at Cal? — and those who know Brown say he's a first-rate person.
"Everett is one of the nicest people I've ever met," said McKinley Rolle, the publisher of Scout.com's Florida State site.
Brown was the ACC's runner-up for defensive player of the year after recording 36 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. In a five-game stretch late in the season, he had 3.5 sacks against Maryland, three sacks against Clemson and three sacks against Virginia Tech. On the negative side, he managed just one assisted tackle in the showdown against eventual national champion Florida.
Nonetheless, it's Brown's overall production that will make the Packers — who got practically no pass rush from anyone other than Aaron Kampman last season — take a long look during these next two-plus months.
"He's a pass-rushing fanatic," Rolle said.
But can Brown put a black-and-blue hurting on opposing quarterbacks in the NFL, or will he leave some general manager sitting red-faced because he's just another Reynolds or Wadsworth?
"Just from looking at the caliber of players in the NFL, what I have is my explosiveness, quickness, and ability to rush the passer," Brown said recently. "It's pretty natural, and it's something I'm very good at and that's the best thing that I bring to the table. I'm an every-down defensive end with the ability to drop into coverage and also really get after the quarterback."
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.