With the 7th pick in the first round, the Carolina Panthers went ahead and selected Auburn DT Derrick Brown. Brown steps into a Panthers defensive unit that ranked bottom 4th in rushing yards allowed allowed last season and dead last in rushing yards per attempt. At 6’5 326 pounds, Brown immediately fills a much needed hole and allows the Panthers front office to build their defense from the bottom up.
First things first, was this the right pick? Picking a run stuffing specialist in the top 10 isn’t a very “progressive” move by any means, as you can find capable run stuffers later in the draft or through free agency if you have a solid enough scouting department. In terms of true top 10 value, this probably wasn’t the pick Carolina should have made, but it is likely the safest. Which of course has a lot of fans upset. Especially with Clemson linebacker…. safety? EDGE rusher?? We’ll just call him an athlete, Isaiah Simmons, being available at the time of the selection.
This blurb from ESPN’s David Newton didn’t help the pick either.
He was… too good for us? I’m hoping they didn’t actually say this and this is just Newton once again saying nonsensical things, but lets move on and see what Brown brings to the table.
Brown doesn’t have the flashiest stats. As noted, he’s a run stuffer so his main objective is to clog the lanes and allow his linebackers to flow freely to make tackles or allow his EDGE rushers to get to the QB. Hockey assist kind of player really. Every team needs these kind of guys.
Last night, it was reported that a big reason the Panthers went with Brown is because Joe Brady stated that he was the hardest player to scheme against during his time at LSU. So let’s look at some footage from the LSU Auburn game from last year.
Here Brown pushes up the middle and gets the focus of three LSU linemen forcing Joe Burrow to bail on the pocket and almost take a sack.
Brown absolutely bulldozes right through OG Damien Lewis who (will likely be drafted this year) and pushes him straight into Burrow for the sack. Plays like this where he can just over power his opponent due to his size is what separates him from other DTs.
Another great push here from Brown to get pressure on Burrow and force him out of the pocket. Lloyd Cushenberry (arguably the best iOL in this years class) does a great job of staying low and keeping Brown from getting the sack. In a perfect world on the Panthers this pressure from Brown forces the QB to run straight into Brian Burns for the sack. Hockey assist.
This is his bread and butter right here. He’s immediately in the backfield to stop this play from going anywhere. We’ll hopefully be seeing a lot of this.
Another great push that should have resulted in a sack had the left end got any sort of pressure at all. Unfortunately Burrow does a good job of escaping and getting the first.
Great swim move here to get right around Lewis with ease and gets to the QB. Burrow gets the ball out quick for the short completion.
Not a lot of people are getting around all that mass.
Impressive rush here just based on the fact that this man is GASSED. He noticeably wears down after facing constant triple and double teams. Is still able to to get to the QB, unfortunately, the Heisman trophy winner makes the play.
Good push here up the middle allows his linebacker to make a great play on the ball carrier. Kuechly would have loved a guy like this 😦
All game LSU has made Brown their number priority on the defensive line, here he takes the attention of two linemen allowing his linebacker to get a clean stick on the RB.
It’s clear to see why a team would like Brown. Just about any time LSU ran directly at him, it resulted in very little gain, if any. When he has energy he gets a great push to apply pressure on the QB during passing plays. Like I said, he’s facing doubles and triples literally game, so theres times at the end of drives where he looks absolutely worn out. At his size that’s not surprising.
Hopefully NFL rotations will help with that and he’ll be able to stay fresh when needed. Also playing next to a guy like Kawaan Short should help when it comes to doubles and triples and short should benefit greatly from playing next to a guy like Brown. Think of the Star Lotuleiei years, but like, x5.
Anyways, there’s no need to dwell on this pick, I’m speaking to myself as well. Was it the best pick in terms of value at #7? No, probably not. Did we get a good player? Yes, I’m pretty certain.
Going into the second round those of us at The QG have our eyes on Kristian Fulton and Trevon Diggs at the CB position among others.