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Cam Brown An Intriguing NFL Prospect With Plenty Of Untapped Potential

Linebacker Cam Brown helped lead Penn State’s defense over the last two seasons, providing a steady hand and wealth of experience to a young unit on the rise. While many analysts have taken note of Brown’s many strengths, some are mindful of what needs to be done before he can be a starter in the NFL.

Brown enters the draft after his senior season, which arguably was his best. He totaled 72 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, two sacks, and four pass deflections and was named third-team All-Big Ten by the conference’s coaches and by Pro Football Focus.

The Maryland native is projected to be a late-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Brown being selected in the sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 201 overall pick. The Vikings would be a solid landing spot for Brown. In Minnesota, he would have a chance to learn from two talented linebackers — 2019 first-team All-Pro Eric Kendricks and four-time pro bowler Anthony Barr.

NFL Network draft analyst Lance Zierlein sees the 6’5″, 233-pound linebacker as a prospect with talent and potential, but will need to get stronger in order to be successful in the NFL.

“Long-limbed, 4-3 linebacker with moldable play traits and an attacking play demeanor,” Zierlein said. “Needs to add muscle and learn to play under control. Brown has the speed and length to put himself into position to make plays, but he overshoots open field tackle opportunities. He is average in zone coverage, but has intriguing rush/blitz potential that might be tantalizing.”

Zierlein’s prospect grade on Brown is a 5.97, which equates to being somewhere between a backup/special teamer and a developmental, traits-based prospect. Brown’s potential leaves tons of room for improvement at the NFL level.

The most common knock on Brown is his size, as draft analysts point out that his weight isn’t up to par with NFL standards. Despite this, Brown’s height of 6’5″ is a major draw, and he still has plenty of time to grow into his lengthy frame.

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson disagrees with Miller’s sixth-round prediction, as he has Brown being selected in the fifth round by the New York Giants with the No. 150 overall pick. Wilson, like Zierlein, believes Brown needs to gain weight to be effective at the next level, but also said that he has the versatility to play multiple positions.

Brown will leave Penn State with 198 total tackles, 14.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 sacks, 11 pass deflections, and four forced fumbles over the course of a four-year career in the blue and white.

Whichever team drafts Brown or signs him after the fact is getting a player who has plenty of traits that could help him succeed in the NFL. The linebacker has plenty of potential to improve at the next level, especially if it puts on a bit more muscle.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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