Malcom Brown was the final selection of the first round. The Texas Longhorn landed with the super bowl champion New England Patriots. Brown declared for the NFL draft after a breakout junior year in college. He started his sophomore and junior years at Texas, but made a major improvement in his junior season when he recorded 70 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 13 tackles for loss. He was a rare defensive tackle to lead the team in sacks and also led them in tackles for loss and forced fumbles. He earned All-Big 12 and All-American honors for his performance that season.
Graphic via cowboysblog
As usual, the Patriots got a potential steal in the draft with Brown at 32. At 6’2” around 320 pounds, he has the rare combination of size and speed for a defensive tackle. He moves very well for a man his size and also has the ability to bully offensive lineman. His sack production last year in college was impressive for a defensive tackle, as they usually are just factors in the run game. Although he can be a force inside, he could still use some added strength. He is known to have weak legs and could benefit from hitting the weight room harder. Other than that, his main downfall is conditioning, which it is for many big men. He can get winded later in games and will need to sit for various stretches of the game. He could be a more effective three down player if his conditioning level rose. Strength and conditioning are two things that can be improved at the NFL level. What Brown already has is great ability and the intelligence level of an NFL player. He has the little things down such as technique. Brown is certainly a starting caliber defensive lineman in the NFL. The Patriots will likely start him at defensive tackle but will also move him around a bit. He has the ability to be effective at multiple spots since he can rush the pass along with being a good run stopper. The Patriots hope he will be a staple on the inside of their defense similar to Vince Wilfork, although Brown is a bit more versatile. It was a bit surprising that he fell to the end of the first round. He just became a household name last year which may have caused teams to want to see more before drafting a player so high.
Nevertheless, the New England Patriots believe in his ability and they are a team that is rarely wrong. There are spot on with most of their draft picks and there is no reason to think any differently about this one.
Graphic via footballsavages