Drew Boylhart 12/08
Donald Brown RB Connecticut
Donald Brown has the strength, quickness, lateral agility and the vision in the hole to be one of the best RB's to play at the next level. He is a quality kid who looks on film to be an excellent teammate and shows leadership skills through his play on the field. Donald has the power to be used in the red zone as well as the quickness and strength to turn the corner. He understands how to set up his blocks, which makes it easy to plug him into any offensive system that you might use in the NFL. He has soft hands to catch the ball and might be one of the best college RB's that I have ever seen at blocking and picking up a blitzing LB. The kid learns as the game goes on and has the outstanding ability to adjust mentally during a game. He has that natural ability that all the great RB's have to not take a direct hit when he is being tackled.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
I'm not going to BS you. This kid just has to keep working as hard as he does right now and he should become a big time impact player for the team that drafts him.
TALENT BOARD ROUND 1
I'll try to explain what I mean by adjusting mentally during a game. Donald sets up in the backfield for a simple run through the guard-tackle hole on the right side of the formation. The guard takes the man in front of him to the inside. The TE lines up off the line and takes the DE up the field on his outside pass rush. A WR goes in motion from the left side of the formation to occupy the OLB on the right side in a pass pattern. A simple play that every team in the world has in their offense. The first time they run the play, the tackle gets beat by the MLB into the hole and stuffs the play. They run the play again during the game for short yardage and the tackle gets beat again. In the fourth quarter, they run the play once more on 3rd and 6. When Donald sets up, I scream at the TV, "I can't believe you are going to run that same play!" Then I say, "No, it must be play action." Donald sets up, then re-sets a step and a half to the opposite side of where the play is going. Now, if I was the MLB this would signal to me that on 3rd and 6, Donald had just moved over to block or to go out for a screen play. I guess that is exactly why the MLB moved over also. So guess what happens at the snap of the ball? Donald takes the hand-off and the offensive tackle has plenty of time to make the block on the MLB. Donald beats the safety and scores a 40 yard TD on the 3rd and 6 play. Now it is very possible that Donald's coach designed this little wrinkle during the course of the game but even if that is true, Donald still had to understand why it was needed and execute it correctly -- and that little reset is what made the play. Most backs would have just lined up a step and a half from the original set up. The MLB might not have noticed or only moved over a half a step and still been able to make a play. Donald looked him straight in the eye and deliberately moved over and made sure that MLB moved. It's that attention to detail and/or coachability that's the difference between RB's with great talent and RB's who are great RB's. This is why I call him Donald (Spock) Brown. He will use any mind-melting tricks on the defense -- to the point his opponents will be completely baffled in the the process.