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Scouting The Draft: Cody Brown

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Brown is a bit of a project, but can still terrorize the quarterback.

This week, we're going to turn our attention very quickly to two players who I would love to see the Dolphins consider drafting in round three.  The first player is UConn defensive end Cody Brown - a player who likely projects as an OLB in a 3-4 defense.

And for more on Brown, I present to you Justin Verrier of TheUConnBlog.com.  You'll remember that Justin gave us a terrific scouting report on CB Darius Butler last week.  Well below are Brown's Combine and Pro Day numbers followed by Justin's thoughts on him.

Cody Brown

Height: 6'2 3/8" / Weight: 245
40: 4.60 / Arm: 34 1/2"" / Vertical: 36" / Broad: 10'4"

The best way to describe Cody Brown is "work-in-progress." He had a breakout senior season for the Huskies in 2008, registering 11 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles en route to being names first team All-Big East, but projects as a ‘tweener in the NFL.

Strengths

Like most UConn prospects in this year’s draft, Brown’s biggest asset is his raw ability. A former basketball player who didn’t start playing football until his junior year in high school, Brown is very agile and quick off the edge, as evidenced by his time of 7.10 on the 3-cone (fourth among DL). Brown showed that he also has straight-line speed when he improved upon his 4.84 forty at the combine by running in the 4.6 range at UConn’s pro day March 25.

Just by looking at him you can tell he’s an athlete. And on the field, his motions are very fluid and he can make the athletic move to get to the ball-carrier.

He was relatively raw coming into UConn, but he was talented enough, and learned quick enough, that he played in 10 games his freshman season. Over the next three seasons, he asserted himself as one of the best edge rushers in the conference, and the coaching staff moved him around a bit, so he has some familiarity with his hand off the ground.

He also blocked a punt in a game against Rutgers last season and, at worse, could be an asset on special teams.

Weaknesses

While Brown has a wealth of talent, he’s vastly undersized, and there’s almost no chance for him to continue his career on the defensive line; most teams have scouted him as a 3-4 rush linebacker, and I’d be shocked if he ended up playing any other position.

He’s only listed at 6-2, 244 pounds, and it showed at time last year. Brown didn’t go up against many NFL offensive line prospects because the Big East didn’t exactly have many elite tackle prospects, but against Virginia’s Eugene Monroe and Baylor’s Jason Smith, Brown had mixed results, recording just one sack against Virginia and just three tackles in each game.

While he’s great rushing the passer, Brown also struggles at time to anchor against the run. His slight base is good to speed past tackles to get to the quarterback, but he can also be manhandled and pushed around by bigger linemen.

And despite his pass-rushing skills, he’s also not the type of player who can take over the game. He can make some plays and he shows flashes at time – like when he had two sacks and two forced fumbles against Cincinnati – but there are also times where he just disappears.

Bottom Line

Brown has great physical ability and with time and coaching, he could develop into a solid pass-rushing linebacker. However, he’s still a project who will have to get bigger and learn how to use leverage more to be effective.

Honestly, I think second round may be a bit high. But Brown would be a solid get any round thereafter.


Great stuff by Justin an another big "thanks" goes out to him for taking the time to put together a second scouting report for us.  And seriously, for anything you want to know about UConn sports, I suggest visiting TheUConnBlog.com regularly.