Highlights and Analysis: DE/OLB Malik Brown

Malik Brown

Malik Brown gave his verbal commitment to Syracuse University Wednesday night, so let's take a closer look at him as a prospect using game tape.

Malik Brown let us know he was planning on announcing his commitment next month after a good official visit trip to Minnesota, however, he decided to pull the trigger to Syracuse Wednesday evening.

The Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Dwyer defensive end ad outside linebacker felt "at home" with the decision to join former Dwyer teammate Julian Whigham on the SU football roster. Whigham saw some early playing time in the secondary, can his old 'mate expect the same in the front seven?

Tape Analysis

Brown is not the biggest edge defender on his team, nor the field. But that isn't always a bad thing. He uses it to his advantage in getting by blockers - similar to a wide receiver setting up a defender during a route - and he makes the most of it when he arrives at the ball carrier. Should his "wiggle" prove ineffective early on against a foe, Brown also has the speed that most lineman do not, which enables him to cause havoc after sometimes easily getting around the edge.

While the size helps him against the pass, it limits him against the run. Brown does feature long arms that help in the fight to shed a block, but should that tactic or a quick move not work - it could be a long day for the senior. In what he will hear more times than not between now and his first training camp, Brown will need to add weight. He currently sits close to 220 pounds.

Brown flashes the speed and quickness initially, but he has a certain want to get to the football that will provide him the chance to stand out at the next level. It's not just a high motor, though he certainly has one, it's a desire to arrive at the ball carrier and make a play. Whether it's a scrambling quarterback or a running back in the lane, Brown sticks his head in there with the best of him after doing everything he can to get there. His pursuit angles and tackling technique are top-notch and he finished like a polished linebacker, with brute force and ill-will.

So Brown has the quickness in his first step, secondary explosion, speed off the edge, motor to will through blockers en route to the ball and the length to make plays that the previously mentioned skills aren't enough to make. Yes, he needs to add size, but this is an underrated athlete that SU is taking away from the SEC and Big Ten.

Projection

Herein-lies the fun part...so where does Brown play in 2013 and beyond?

He describes himself as a hybrid player that can make plays along the defensive line or standing up as a linebacker, as he proved in high school. Steve Morrison, the SU linebackers coach that received Brown's commitment on the phone Wednesday, envisions the long prospect as a potential middle linebacker. Brown is open to that concept, though it would be a new role and position skill-set to take on.

No matter where he fits, the initial goal will be to not only add weight, but strength to his frame. Should Brown be able to do that, it wouldn't a stretch to see him on the field sooner than later in some capacity. Middle 'backer seems to be a bit of a stretch at this point, but throwing his name in the pot with fellow inexperienced players may give the supreme athlete the edge.

Take a look at some of his sample work on both offense and defense. In the following video, Brown wears No. 9 and usually lines up on the edge either standing or with his hand in the ground.

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