Undersized star Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown was one of the best college football players this past season. He was the Big 12 Defensive Conference Player of the Year with 91 tackles, one interception, and six tackles for a loss on one of the best defenses in college football. As a two time team captain, he was the heart and soul of a Kansas State defense that was in the thick of the 2012 national title hunt. Brown began his career at Miami, coming in as a Parade High School All American and was a contributor beginning with his freshman year. After Randy Shannon’s dismissal, he returned home to play with his brother Bryce Brown who is a runningback on the Philadelphia Eagles.
|Height||Weight||Projected 40 Time|
The Big 12 features a contingent of spread offenses that challenge defensive coordinators. Arthur Brown’s effectiveness in coverage was used to neutralized these offenses. Brown’s athleticism and field awareness are his greatest strengths. He is fluid in his initial drop but gets sideline to sideline to eliminate first reads across the middle and quarterback check downs. When asked to cover man to man, he gets into the receiver’s hip pocket and often breaking up the play by getting his hand in on the ball as it reaches the receiver. Brown also has a terrific motor, as he never gives up on a play.
As a run defender, Brown is surprisingly stout given his diminutive size. He gets good leverage and maintains the point of attack with great hand strength that allows him to disengage blockers. Blockers don’t wash him out of the play very easily because of the aforementioned hand strength and he gets good knee bend with his lower thick half. Brown’s overall strength allows him to press the hole and make the tackle even when blockers have their hands on him. Non-linemen don’t handle him well at all because he can side steps cut blocks and slips past over aggressive tight ends. Brown is a sure tackler that can lay the lumber on receivers coming across the middle or when he is unimpeded to the runningback in the hole.
He wasn’t utilized as a blitzer very exclusively at Kansas State but showed the capability to be effective when asked to. Brown was captain both years at Kansas State with a large responsibility put onto him by the coaching staff. These traits can’t be understated or ignored when you talk about the quarterback of the defense.
Immediately you notice his size, or lack thereof, on film. He is probably the shortest guy on film and this will probably lead to a slide down a few draft boards despite his obvious overall strength. He can be dragged at times by tough ballcarriers. Larger athletic linemen can get into his pads and drive him if Brown is playing without good balance. Brown’s physicality and aggression get the best of him at times, as he will overrun plays and jump up in coverage when the play action game is on. Didn’t create a lot of turnovers with zero forced fumbles and less than a hand full of interceptions.
Arthur Brown mirrors a similar player from last year’s draft, Lavonte David. They represent similar stories of supremely talent linebackers that will fall on draft day due to size concerns. I believe Brown will settle somewhere into round two and perhaps start from day one. Even if he doesn’t start as a rookie, he will be a terrific special team’s contributor.
Grade – 7.5