2023 NFL Draft: Three sleeper prospects to keep your eye one
2. Sydney Brown, Safety, Illinois
Sydney Brown is a really fun player to watch and one of the more underrated safety prospects in this year’s draft.
His specialty is playing man coverage from the slot. Most of his snaps in college came from inside the box and the slot, and In 2022, he had a PFF coverage grade of 89.4, which ranked second among all power five safeties. His 89.9 PFF coverage grade in man coverage was phenomenal, ranking second among all power five safeties.
Last season, Brown was one of the more productive safeties in college football, regarding his coverage stats. He recorded six pass breakups and six interceptions; both marks ranking top ten among power five safeties. His efficiency stats in coverage were really strong, too, as he allowed a completion percentage of just 58.7% and a passer rating of just 49.6.
Another thing that separates Brown from the other top safeties in this class is his size and athleticism. A lot of the top safeties in this year’s class have small frames and are just average to slightly above-average athletes. This is not the case for Brown.
Sydney Brown is 5’10, 211 lbs., and has a BMI, or body-mass index, of 30.3. Brown may not be the tallest safety in the world, but he has a lot of weight in his frame, ranking first in this year’s safety class in terms of weight and BMI.
His athletic testing numbers are jaw-dropping, as he sports a 4.47 forty-yard dash (94th percentile), a 1.5 10-yard split (99th percentile), a 40.5 in. vertical (98th percentile), and a 10’10 broad jump (98th percentile). Those numbers are ridiculously good.
Although Sydney Brown is really good in coverage and has great size and athleticism, his game isn’t perfect. He isn’t the best run defender in the world, and he misses a ton of tackles. His career missed tackle rate is 17.8%, which is extremely high. This needs to get cleaned up for him to become a plus starter in the NFL.
Nevertheless, Brown is fantastic in coverage, and his frame and athletic testing numbers make him stand out when compared to the other top safeties in the 2023 NFL Draft.