Brian is a strong bump-technique corner with good speed and quickness. He has an excellent burst to the ball and is a very solid tackler. Brian has the size and tackling ability to be used as a safety or as a corner. He can handle those tall, long-striding receivers. Brian is a physical corner who will push opponents off their routes and take advantage of any receiver or tight end who cannot match his aggressiveness or physical play. He is smart and knows when to be physical and when not to be. He shows leadership qualities through his play on the field and can be used the day after you draft him in nickel-dime package because of his football intelligence and good tackling ability.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Brain plays smaller than his size because he squats so much and his legs seem to be longer then his torso. This puts him in a bad position to defend taller players in spite of his listed (before the combine) size of 6' 1". He has those long legs that make it difficult to change directions on a dime unless he is going forward. As a corner, that means receivers can gain separation from Brian easier than a corner who has that quick twitch and change of direction skills. Brian is helped out by an attacking defense that does not allow most college QB's time in the pocket and doesn't allow receivers to complete their routes. This makes Brian a perfect fit to become an excellent cover safety in the NFL if he shows the hands in workouts to make interceptions.
Last year I told you about Jairus Byrd (CB Oregon -- see profile in free archives) who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 2009 draft. This year I'm telling you about Brian. If Brian shows at the combine that he can catch the ball, he could have as much impact as a cover safety in the NFL as Jairus has had for his team. If he shows that his hands are not that good, then you still have drafted yourself a hell of a football player but just maybe not an impact player. I'm betting he has good hands and will show us all in the coming years that a good tackling corner can always be used as a safety in the NFL. As we all know, to be a good safety, tackling is the key...and Brian can tackle!
Drew Boylhart 2/10