Cody Brown garnered 1st team All-Big East honors as a defensive end for the University of Connecticut in 2008. He had a monster year including 55 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles.
He worked out as a defensive end at the NFL Combine, but his size combined with his athleticism have a lot of folks putting him at linebacker in the pros.
"Everybody seems to like my style of play. They've thought I have good intensity and use my hands well," he told Scout.com. "A lot of them say they like the way that I make plays in the backfield."
He has unusually long arms and big hands that scouts want to see him use to his advantage so it appears some of the physical tools are there.
Here are his Combine numbers plus his rank in each event:
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.84 (7th)
- Vertical Jump: 36.5'' (6th)
- Broad Jump: 10'0" (4th)
- 3-Cone Drill: 7.1 seconds (3rd)
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.4 seconds (7th)
Brown has worked out for the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.
Scott Pioli said he and Bill Belichick agreed on 95% of the players while they were in New England together. Since the Patriots already worked him out on March 19th, I'm making an assumption that the Chiefs have at least taken a look at him.
Pioli and Co. are big on players that can play multiple positions. Brown has the potential to be an end or a linebacker, or can even be used as a situational pass rusher.
The big word used with him is versatility (thanks, Kris Wilson). He played defensive end in college but most teams, save a few like the 49ers and Panthers, are projecting him as a linebacker in the NFL.
Tamba Hali Comparison
He's about 20 pounds lighter than Tamba Hali and runs a similar 40 yard dash which worries me a little bit. The biggest question on Hali in a 3-4 defense is his speed. Now the question on Brown would be his strength in shedding blocks as a linebacker in a 3-4.
We were just talking today about whether Hali fits in the Chiefs new plans. Would Brown be an upgrade?
Scouts Like Him In The 3-4
According to the Fantasy Football Jungle, four teams likely to target Brown (Redskins, Packers, 49ers, Cardinals) all run a 3-4 defense so there's something out there the scouts see in him that make sense as a 3-4 'backer.
There are also reports out there that the Dolphins (who also run a 3-4) are interested in him and have actually met with him twice, including a meeting with Bill Parcells himself.
Footballs Future says he's definitely a 3-4 guy:
Even in that scheme, he is going to have to get stronger and learn how to get off blocks quicker. He is an attacking defender that can over run plays at time, and he may need to be a little more disciplined.
Brown's athleticism and versatility appear to be the major drawing points to the 3-4 teams that are interested in him.
The buzz on him as far as draft position goes is likely in the 3rd round. The Chiefs, of course, have the third pick in the third round of the draft this year.