Jatavis Brown

Akron
Linebacker #1
Senior 5’11” 220

Sep 27, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Akron Zips linebacker Jatavis Brown (1) celebrates a defensive stop against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Akron Zips won 21-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Brown’s size-speed combination may offer the versatility many teams are looking for in today’s pass happy league.
Good:

  • Fast, quick, explosive, fluid athlete
  • Missile, seems to gain speed as he approaches the ball carrier
  • Excellent range – sideline to sideline player
  • Shows coverage skills
  • Very good blitzer – finds holes/ways to get into the backfield
  • Good motor

Bad:

  • Size questions which creates durability concerns
  • Will get fooled on misdirection at times
  • Arm length may be a concern in regards to block shedding – struggles between guards
  • Missed a noticeable amount of tackles vs Oklahoma

Brown was a 2 star prospect from the football factory Glades Central in Belle Glade, Florida, which is known as the high school that has the most NFL and NCAA players. Coming out of high school tipping the scales at just 185-190 pounds, it’s not surprising that the linebacker received limited scholarship offers. Because of his size and weight combination, there has been talk of moving him to safety at the next level. Linebackers in the past were utilized primarily as run defenders that remained in the box.  However, as the game continues to move towards up tempo passing, it’s my belief that the league is undergoing a change in the size of players. A change that I believe will benefit Brown.
Jatavis Brown is an explosive and fluid athlete who’s been rumored to run under 4.5. Whether he runs that fast at the combine remains to be seen, but when you put on the film there is no doubt that he plays at that speed. That speed allows Brown to run with RBs and many WRs. The defensive scheme and coverages I’ve seen on film seem similar to what Ohio St runs and he plays a very similar role to in that defense to Darron Lee. He makes plays all over the field and seems to hit an extra gear just to contact with the ball carrier. He posted 11.5 sacks this past season that weren’t from an edge rusher position, but instead from a more traditional blitz from depth or blitz to the interior of the line. He’s very adept at finding the holes along the line when blitzing. My main concern is his blocking shedding issues. Right now, Brown typically avoids blockers rather than engages which makes sense based on his size/length. While this can be an effective method, he will most likely need to develop his take-on skills to use with that. When he does engage, he fills the whole well but struggles to disengage. A positive within the negative is that he at least takes on blocks with his hands/arms rather than his shoulder. His arm length could be an issue while developing the take on skills and could also affect his tackling. The size concerns relate more to durability rather than his potential effectiveness. We’ve seen several players recently be successful LBs while being considered undersized but we don’t have any information about the longevity of their careers.

NFL Comparison:

if you miss out on Darron Lee, here’s a very similar player

Round Value:

4-5

Games watched: Oklahoma 2015, Pitt 2015, Utah St 2015




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