Breakdown: Patriots Select Malcom Brown

Everything you need to know about the New England Patriots’ first-round selection of defensive tackle Malcom Brown out of the University of Texas from Scout's college and pro football experts.

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Malcom Brown
Texas / 6'2 / 319 lbs
  • DT
  • [1] #32

Analysis

Brown played everywhere on the defensive front at Texas where he collected 165 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. He has good lateral quickness and agility. Brown gets off the ball well and plays with excellent leverage and balance. He’s strong and wide and shows a good burst when locating the ball. Brown had a terrific year with Charlie Strong and really elevated his draft status. His play translates to both a 3-4 and 4-3 front.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation

The Patriots find their replacement for the departed Vince Wilfork in Malcom Brown. He played everywhere on the defensive front at Texas where he collected 165 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. He has good lateral quickness and agility. Brown gets off the ball well and plays with excellent leverage and balance. He’s strong and wide and shows a good burst when locating the ball. Brown had a terrific year with Charlie Strong and really elevated his draft status. Brown will fit right into the New England scheme.

When Texas opened the season losing four of their first six games, hopes for entering the bowl season seemed to dim, but Malcom Brown took command of the defense and the Longhorns earned the right to take on Arkansas in the Texas Bowl. If the 2014 season that Brown produced is any indication, he will close out his career with a bang – as in, banging heads with offensive linemen to bang quarterbacks and ball carriers in the backfield.

His domination in the trenches earned the Outland Trophy and Nagurski Award finalist All-American first-team honors, as he registered 72 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 15.0 stops-for-loss, eight QB pressures and two forced fumbles while manning the strong-side tackle position for the second consecutive season.

Regarded as the most tenacious defender in the Big Twelve Conference, Brown has an incredibly low pad level that constantly gets him under the bigger blockers to push his opponent back into the pocket. The defender enjoyed a banner first season as a starter, making ten of his 66 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2013. He also batted down four passes at the line.

His lower body strength is excellent and despite his wide frame, he has low body fat (big-boned). He is slightly undersized to play in a two-gap system, but has more than enough strength, low center of gravity, long arms and redirection ability to be very effective at the nose. His sudden burst off the ball allows him to generate the up field quickness needed to penetrate and make impact tackles in the backfield. He generally delivers a punishing blow in tight quarters, with no leakage working inside.

Earlier in his career, he would get a little out of control and miss tackles in space, but he has rectified that problem by playing with better discipline. He can flatten and go, making him the type that always needs to be accounted for in the backfield.

If you thought Brown was a load to block coming off the snap, you should see the burst he generates as a pass rusher. He has the up field quickness to get past the blocker’s hip and is quick to get an edge. He creates problems when he is single blocked, as he gets a strong push and arrives on the quarterback with intent when he breaks free.

Much of Brown’s success comes from his quick first step, proving to teams he is very capable of exploding off the snap from the three-technique to penetrate on slants. He gets his hands into a blocker's jersey quickly and pushes them back using leverage and brute strength.

He consistently beats interior offensive lineman to the point of attack and has done a very good job in establishing position in 2014 and that burst should see him have very good success shooting gaps and disrupting plays in the backfield at the NFL level. With his active hands, he flashes the ability to shed blocks quickly and has shown marked improvement in terms of hand fighting as a junior.

Brown is the type of player who knows how to use his upper body to play strong and he has a good punch with violent hands to disengage. He uses his low center of gravity to keep leverage vs. the run and holds up to larger linemen and double teams. He’s a strong tackler who comes with aggression and does not let go once he is in contact with the ball carrier.

The Longhorn is agile enough to get through trash inside, as he has the flexibility and strength needed to bring down backs coming through the hole. He also demonstrates a quick burst to the quarterback once he gets through the line. He also does a nice job of breaking down in space and has the change-of-direction skills to capture elusiveness quarterbacks and running backs. He also shows urgency chasing running backs and passers down with his straight-line speed.

For a 320-pound player, Brown is very agile and he is the type who relentlessly works to reach the quarterback. He gets under the shoulder of his man if lined up in the gap or slanting. He can beat most cut blocks with quickness and strong hands and is able to recover from an initial stalemate to get after the passer. His five break-ups in 2014 show that he can quickly get his hands up to deflect passes, demonstrating good timing to react when he sees the quarterback start his throwing motion to time his jumps well.

In run force, Brown has good pursuit skills working down the line, as he shows good confidence in his upper body strength and hands to take the runner down from the initial contact. He keeps those hands active, especially in attempts to knock down the blocker’s hands coming out of the stance, as this lets him push through the line to close on the quarterback and shed blocks before he can be reached.

Brown plays with a wide base and does a good job holding his ground when teams try to down block on him, as he has the strong anchor and sound technique to split double teams, keeping his head up and to locate the ball quickly. He also demonstrates the lateral mobility needed in attempts to scrape down the line of scrimmage.

Malcom Brown NFL Scouting Combine measurables


6-2/319 (5.05 forty)
32 1/2-inch arm length
10-inch hands
26-reps
29.5-inch vertical jump
98-inch broad jump
7.84 3 cone drill
4.59 20 yard shuttle

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.

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