Blair Brown   LB   Ohio

TALENT
ROUND
3

STRENGTHS
Blair is the most technically sound linebacker in this draft. He has excellent athletic talent coming up with the third highest CPM 88.88 score of all linebackers in this draft. He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler. Blair is also the most patient linebacker I have ever seen on film. He waits, hiding behind the bigger defensive lineman like a cheetah waiting patiently and hiding in the high grass with no unnecessary movement, than on the snap, reads his preyís first move and reacts with amazing quickness slipping blocks with strength and leverage to make the tackle. He has unusual lateral agility and strength that allows him to hit the shoulder of an offensive lineman and literally blow right through them to make a tackle. He reads running backs so quickly and is able to redirect offensive lineman with his movement to force the running back inside and then slip the block and make a tackle. He has good speed and excellent quickness and bust to the ball. He takes on blocks with the leverage and strength far beyond his size. Blair has leadership skills through his play on the field and has the athletic talent to cover and can play more than one linebacker position in multiple styles of defense.

CONCERNS
Blair is vertically challenged for his position. He doesnít shed blocks; he literally blows through them because of his unique athletic talents. You do have to wonder at his size if he can play the same way at the next level although he does it with such ease you also have to wonder why he canít continue to play like that. Blair also has to show cover skills and show that taller plays will not take advantage of his lack of height and make plays in spite of his unique athletic talent.

BOTTOM LINE
Blair plays his position with such ease and confidence itís a little scary. You look at him making plays all over the field and you have to wonder why offensive lineman canít seem to block this kid. His cheetah like lack of movement and calmness before the snap of the ball makes you think that he already knows what play is coming and by not moving he doesnít want the offense to audible out of the play call that his instincts suggest is about to come his way. I keep looking at film trying to understand how he blows through blocks of bigger offensive lineman to make plays and all I can come up with isÖ itís all because of his lack of height. He is smaller and uses that lack of height to gain leverage to get up under the block making the bigger player become off balance and then hits that playerís shoulder instead of going around him or engaging and shedding. Once he hits that player (off balance shoulder) he is through the block and making the tackle. Itís really interesting to watch how easily he does this. I have no doubt that Blair can cover as an outside linebacker in a 4/3 defense and be an impact player for the team that selects him. I donít blame scouts for being a little cautious in selecting Blair as high as I have his talent score. After all, Blair is a ďsystemsĒ linebacker, with small stature and the ability to impact at only a particular position and all of these issues will affect his draft status. Remember for the draftÖ size matters but once a smaller player is on the field all that matters is production and making plays and Blair can make plays. He might be a late round selection or a priority free agent but Iím betting that wonít affect his play on the field either.

Drew Boylhart  APR.2017