Cornerbacks are at a premium in this year’s NFL Draft. With several expected to go in the first few rounds, Tre Brown could be a player that gets called on in the latter half of the draft. A bit of an undersized corner, Brown is limited to a man-coverage scheme only because of how little zone he played at Oklahoma. He has some serious inconsistencies and will be a bit of a developmental corner in the league. Has Brown done enough to hear his name called on day two? Let’s break it down.
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Name: Tre Brown
Weight: 190 lbs
Man Coverage (8/10)
As mentioned, Brown has some serious experience in man coverage. He’s fared well for the most part but has shown some problems. He’s best in intermediate and short coverage and has shown some troubles deep. At the senior bowl, bigger wide receivers were clearly a problem for him and he failed to disrupt guys like Nico Collins and Tylan Wallace. There isn’t much game film of Brown going up against receivers besides Brennan Eagles, so it’s not the biggest concern as of now. Handling deep speed combined with a cut or two has been an issue and he’s gotten beat a couple of times. Brown seems to be best in off-man coverage but this hurts his coverage in the short game.
Zone Coverage (4/10)
Brown has gotten very few chances in zone coverage. If teams that run zone take him, he’s going to have to sit for a year or two to learn how to play zone. It’s pretty hard to evaluate as of now but he does get a below-average grade. He really may be a one scheme player and it would definitely be beneficial to his career early on.
The deeper the field gets, the more Brown struggles to flip his hips. He’s often seen being a bit too clunky when trying to turn and will get exposed. In shorter areas, he’s been good but has his fair share of misses. He has shown some serious flashes, especially at the Senior Bowl. Brown has average hip fluidity which is not great because it’s one of the hardest things to work on as a corner in the league.
Ball Skills (8.25/10)
This is a really weird area for Brown. In a four-year playing career, he only hauled in four interceptions but has shown some great skill in this area as well. He’s physical at the point of attack and has knocked a lot of balls out. Once again, he’s not great down the field and this is where bigger receivers have gotten to him. He’s been unable to knock the ball out and it is quite a concern. Size doesn’t hurt him in the shorter areas and he knocks the ball out really well. If he can’t get to the ball, he’s quick to make a tackle and try to make some sort of play.
Brown is a solid athlete and there won’t be any concerns about his long speed in the NFL. He ran a 4.40 40-yard dash on his pro day and showed good leaping ability with a 38-inch vertical jump. Brown has struggled to change direction at times on the field and can be a bit slow in the shorter areas when needing to close in quickly. With his 40, he reverted all concerns of his long speed which were surfacing earlier in the year. Brown is no superstar athlete, but he more than gets the job done.
Run Support (9/10)
Brown is an extremely good run defender, even for a cornerback. He flies down into the box and is always looking to hit someone. Aggression is the keyword to describe his play here. Even if he doesn’t make the play properly, he keeps coming at the ball carrier and attacking. Cornerbacks with this ability are super fun to watch and always make a good impression on coaches.
Brown is a very solid tackler. His size leads to him getting overpowered at times but it’s not too much of an issue. Because of his ability in the run game, there’s a lot of different tackles made from different angles and he rarely misses. He wraps up well but does have his fair share of misses like almost every other cornerback in this class. For a guy who will need to develop for a while, being a good tackler is a really nice plus.
Brown has shown good composure. When he’s beat, he can rarely get back to make a play on the ball, but he really digs in and tries to. Even if he can’t affect the ball, he almost always makes the tackle which does reflect nicely in the eye of scouts.
This is a problem. Brown played exclusively on the outside at Oklahoma but is almost too undersized to play there in the league. With zero experience anywhere else, it’s hard to project if Brown can play as a slot or nickel corner. A nice positive for Brown is that he returned a lot of kicks in college and could see himself as a returner early on in his career.
Competitive Toughness (4/5)
Brown is a very physical player who is super aggressive with his tackling and in the run game. He has been way too grabby at times, and it has cost his team. While being grabby shows he wants to be physical, it can reflect badly when he draws too many pass interference calls. Otherwise, Brown’s aggression is a major positive and should get some big points for him inside teams’ war rooms.
Injury History (4.5/5)
Brown has been dinged up a couple of times throughout his career causing him to miss some games. Besides this, he’s had a pretty clean sheet and no lingering issues.
Brown is a cornerback who has a lot of holes in his game but has some really good flashes of a great football player. He’ll need to develop for a year or two, especially depending on what scheme he ends up in. His floor could be a solid returner in the league, but his ceiling could be a really nice man-coverage corner. Teams will likely take Brown in day three but he could go a little bit higher than that.
Player Grade (73.25/100): Late-Fourth Round