Don Pompei reviews the middle linebackers in this year’s draft. The player that catches my eye in this group is Arthur Brown:
“Arthur Brown, Kansas State, 6-1, 241: Brown is like [sure first round pick, Alec] Ogletree in that he has the ability to play outside as well as inside. ‘He’s a fast-flow, run-and-hit guy,’ one veteran scout said. Brown is very athletic and he has good instincts. He goes all out. Brown gets off blocks well and runs the seam better than most of the linebackers in this class (he ran a 4.67 40 at his pro day). There is some concern over his size. The transfer from Miami is a little smaller than ideal. He showed up at the combine at 240, but played at 230 pounds, according to one front office man. The good news for Brown is he plays big. He packs a wallop. He has risen up the charts in recent weeks.”
Brown’s got all of the characteristics of a cover two middle linebacker. The comment about how he played a 230 lbs and is getting bigger would, based upon what we saw last year, fit the profile former strength and conditioning coach and current Bears GM Phil Emery, might be looking for. Emery seems to like players who he thinks can put on weight without losing quickness. Brown sounds like one of those guys. That may be why they had him in town for an interview (one of the very few that leaked out of Halas Hall this winter).
The Bears probably prefer Ogletree but most mock drafts have him gone before the Bears pick. Pompei has him going at 16 to the Rams. I think the Steelers and the Giants (at 17 and 19 in the first round, respectively) would also like to have him.
Assuming he’s not there when the Bears turn comes up at 20, they may prefer to trade back. Indeed, Emery has made it clear that the pick is for sale. Brown may be the first guy he has in mind if he trades into the second round. That would mean we’d all have to wait until Friday evening to see the Bears make a pick. But it could be a memorable one.