Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/6/13
Much will be made of the size of Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown while the fact he is a tremendous football player will be forgotten by some critics.  Brown can and will get bigger, but there are not many players who can match what he does on the field in terms of his instincts, technique, and drive.  While Brown’s best fit may be as a weak side linebacker in a 4-3 because of his ability to contribute in cover and be a run-and-chase linebacker, he has the ability to play as a middle linebacker in the 4-3 or as the weak inside backer in the 3-4 because of his range and ability to take on and shed blocks.  Wherever he ends up, Brown projects as one of the best, pure football players in the draft and should be a valuable asset who never needs to come off the field for whichever team selects him in the upcoming NFL Draft.  Brown projects as a player that should be an impact player, a 3-down backer and the centerpiece for an NFL defense for the next decade.Arthur Brown: The VitalsHeight: 6’½” Weight: 236lbsSchool:  Kansas StateYear: Redshirt SeniorCollege ProductionBrown’s first two years were at the University of Miami (FL) where he did not get a lot of playing time before he ultimately transferred back home and Kansas State.  As a junior and senior, Brown became the centerpiece of the Wildcat defense and helped lead the team to a 21-5 record and a Big XII Title his final year, but the hole in his and the Kansas State resume is the lack of a bowl win.In 26 games, Brown recorded a total of 122 solo tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 3 sacks, 6 passes broken up, and a defensive touchdown.  Brown became the personification of the Kansas State program under Head Coach Bill Snyder.StrengthsAs a tackler, Brown is not always the most conventional tackler, but he gets the job done at a good clip. He does a good job of wrapping up so that he can control ball carriers and if he slips, can grab onto their legs to make sure he makes the play. He has stopping power and does a good job of exploding through tackles for the most part. As a run defender, Brown has great instincts, reads his keys well and attacks downhill. He does a great job on the boss block occasionally getting lower than the fullback and rooting him out of the play to either make the play himself or enable teammates to make the tackle. He is able to locate the hole and fill it well, has the toughness to make plays inside and the speed to make plays going to the outside. Brown takes smart angles to put himself in position to find a lane to attack the ball carrier. He has the ability to slip blocks from offensive linemen to make plays and has shown the ability to stack and shed. His ability to do this is largely because he does a good job using his arms to keep blockers out of his bodyBrown is an excellent coverage linebacker and should excel as a three down linebacker in the NFL. He gets to his drops quickly, has a good feel for what is going on around him and reads the quarterback’s eyes and flows with the play well. Brown can also contribute in man coverage because of his athleticism and smart feel for angles and when to be physical with opponents. He has experienced covering running backs out of the backfield to receivers in the slot. In addition, Brown has been adept at disguising his intentions up to and immediately after the snap. Brown has been so effective in coverage that he was rarely challenged by the opposition.In addition to everything else, Brown has also shown he can contribute on the blitz. His explosive acceleration makes him come off the edge with speed and he can lay the wood given the opportunity. Brown has demonstrated he can bull rush and will flash a solid dip move, which can take advantage of his lack of height. Kansas State did not blitz Brown a ton as he was usually dropped into coverage as other guys blitzed, but when he did, it was often from the outside.WeaknessesBrown has a tendency to lunge for tackles. There are times when he has a difficult angle bending around a block or fighting through trash where it is his only option, but too often he lunges in situations that do not call for it. Again, for the most part, he is successful, but there are situations where he could get to a play with his legs, but dives and misses the play.He occasionally will get overpowered in the running game. There are times when Brown is overaggressive to his lane when the play is going to a different lane and he periodically gets caught up in the wash, but this is actually an asset in many schemes in the NFL because he is forcing the play to the outside. It was a slight problem at Kansas State because they were counting on him to make so many plays. Experience in the NFL should allow Brown to get smart at when to attack the hole and when to wait and flow to the play more.  He also needs to do a better job when it comes to stripping the football and causing fumbles.The two interceptions Brown had were both off of tips. The small concern for Brown is tall, lengthy tight ends due to their size advantage. Brown’s ball skills are somewhat of an unknown due to the fact he was so rarely challenged, but the times the ball came to him, he caught it, and he will have his opportunity to prove his ball skills at the combine and in individual workouts.Potential Landing SpotsThe first potential landing spot may surprise a lot of people, but it is the Buffalo Bills with the 8th pick.  Not only is he a great player, but it would be a tremendous fit because of the Bills defensive line with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams up front with newly signed Alan Branch rotating in to allow Brown to fly all over the field and make plays.  He would be in great position there to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year.The next logical spot for Brown would the New York Giants and while it seems like every year, the Giants are projected to take a linebacker early and often times in the first round, it never seems to happen.  If Brown is there, he may be too good to pass up and allow them to put a big stamp on the weakest position group in their defense.The Chicago Bears just had a great middle linebacker in Brian Urlacher for over a decade and while they have made moves to give them flexibility in how they approach the pick, they may just want to move from one great linebacker in the middle of their defense to another.  Brown would step in immediately and give them youth at the linebacker position, something they can definitely use.If he lasts there, the Cincinnati Bengals should run, not walk to the podium and make him their pick.  He would give the Bengals a dynamic linebacker group because he could step in play in the middle or on the weak side, depending on where they want to play Vontaze Burfict.  The combination of Burfict and Brown would be fantastic in nickel situations and take a good defense up another level.Draft Projection1st round: There are people who are projecting him as a fringe 1st or 2nd round pick, but he graded out as the best pure linebacker in the entire draft and could go as early as 8th pick but is unlikely to get past the 21st pick.NFL ComparisonIf Brown becomes the player he should be in the NFL, he could end up looking similar to former Florida State Seminole and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Derrick Brooks. Their paths to the NFL would be far different as Brooks was a converted safety while Brown has been a linebacker his entire career for both Miami and Kansas State. Brooks was regarded as an undersized linebacker and it is likely Brown will hear the same thing about him. In a 3-4 scheme, Brown could end up like another former Seminole and current Steeler Lawrence Timmons. Brown has the ability to take on and shed blocks but also has a ton of range and the ability to drop into coverage in a 3-4 scheme.
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