STRENGTHS - Brown is an outstanding athlete for the LB position. He has the top end speed to make plays in pursuit from sideline to sideline, and consistently makes play against the outside run at the LOS because he is able to take aggressive angles of pursuit. Despite being undersized, he is very effective on inside runs because of his read and react skills as well as his aggressiveness and physicality when taking on blockers at the POA. When asked to drop in coverage he is smooth with his footwork and shows the ability to COD and cover ground quickly in space. On blitzes he displays a strong burst off the edge and the aggressiveness to beat blockers at the POA.
WEAKNESSES - Brown lacks the typical bulk and height of an NFL ILB. Despite clearly possessing the athleticism to be an effective backer in pass coverage he struggles to identify zone assignments quickly and is consistently late to break and close on pass plays in front of him. When matched up against TEs in man coverage he gives up too much cushion and is not physical enough on the break, allowing his man to create easy separation that he is unable to recover from. Against both the run and pass, he misses too many tackles because he tends to leave his feet and does not consistently wrap up and strike through the ball carrier.
SUMMARY - Arthur Brown was an interesting prospect to evaluate because he does not fit the stereotype of other linebackers with his size. While his top end speed and QAB are readily on display on outside runs, he does not use his athleticism to his advantage on pass defense, as he is slow to read and react to assignments and generally seems to lack the confidence he shows while playing the run. Although he lacks the prerequisite bulk to play inside, he more than makes up for his limited stature with his quickness, instincts and aggressiveness, which allow him to effectively take on and shed blockers at the LOS in time to make plays against the run. He is clearly capable of breaking down in space and adjusting to moving targets, but too often he leaves his feet to attempt low arm tackles, and physical ball carriers are able to run through his tackle attempts. If he improves his feet for the passing game and learns to use the physicality he displays on run defense on pass plays as well, he is capable of being a highly productive starter at any LB position. Considering his current skill set, he would be most effective playing for a 34 defense like Baltimore, as he is more than capable of holding his own on the inside on 1st and 2nd down and rushing the passer off the edge on 3rd down. While I have a high 2nd round grade on Brown, I would not be surprised to see him selected on day one, as there are numerous teams in the 2nd have of round one in need of a physical, athletic run defender inside capable of quarterbacking the defense.