Prospect, Draft Junky Hopes To Be #1

Protecting the quarterback has become increasingly difficult as teams find creative ways to bring pressure. When there is an offensive lineman who has allowed a grand total of two sacks in two years, teams begin to lineup.

Jammal Brown is an NFL Draft nut. His goal isn't to just be a first-round pick, it is to challenge for the right to be known as the first offensive lineman taken on April 23.

He takes pride in his job and gave up one sack as a junior and was reluctant to take the one sack credited his way as a senior.

"What's this about one as a senior?" said Brown.

So you weren't credited with allowing a sack in the USC game?

"Well, no," Brown reflected. "In the USC game they brought a blitz. It wasn't my fault, but I got the stat. It's up for debate."

Brown has visited with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams while also receiving interest from the New York Jets, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars, with the last four teams working him out privately on campus.

A fierce competitor, Brown is a two-time All-American, three-time All Big-12 honoree and was the Outland Trophy winner in 2004.

He was credited with 120 knockdowns as a senior and has proven to play by the book, registering just one penalty against during his 2002 season.

A former defensive lineman who played on both sides of the ball in high school, Brown felt he had to show a nasty streak as a senior.

"My junior year, I don't think I was as much of an aggressive run-blocker as I did my senior year. I think one thing I proved my senior year was finishing blocks and being real physical. That helped me out a lot.

"As a junior, it was still only my second year playing and I was still getting accustomed to the offense. But then my senior year I put in a lot of work and just learned the offense, so I felt more comfortable. I didn't worry about messing up so much and just went out there and played my game. My junior year, I was more hesitant, but my senior year I just played lights-out."

Rated highly as a defensive lineman coming into college, Brown had an understandable hesitancy to switching sides on a permanent basis.

He suffered a knee injury in 2000 and came back knowing he would be on the offensive line.

"At first I was wary about it, but I just gave it everything I had, and everything turned out good," he said. "I kept my faith in God. He did it for a reason. Everything worked out."

It didn't hurt that Brown knows the nuances and tricks of playing on the defensive line. He has been able to translate that into forward thinking, knowing what move he will see before it happens.

"I think during games about the defensive tackle, how he lines up, where he puts his hands. I still know the tricks that these linemen use, which helps me before the ball is snapped."

Teams have been asking him whether he can play the left side on a more permanent basis, as he had some experience playing there in the Big-12 Championship game. Injuries along the Sooner line forced him to stay on the right side and with the team winning, there was no reason to move him.

He believes he can play both quite effectively and says the two spots aren't so different as long as you have confidence in your footwork.

Some have questioned whether he has the drive to succeed, but Brown points to the game film of the drubbing from USC.

"You can look at how good a guy is this year, and you can look at the championship game, which was pretty much over in the second quarter, but how I played like the game was 10-10, a tie game," Brown defended. "No matter what the circumstance is, I'm going to play hard. If we're losing by 100, me and that D-end, that's a one-on-one battle. I'm not going to let him win."

As for where he slots himself in the draft, "15 to 20." And that would put him within striking range of being the first tackle chosen on draft day.

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