19 Jul Preseason Scouting Notes: Ben Brown, OL, Ole Miss
RS Junior | 6’5″, 320 lbs | Vicksburg, MS | May 19, 1998
A big, intelligent interior lineman with positional versatility, a finishing mentality, and good football intelligence
Ben Brown comes from a long line of Ole Miss football players, with six members of his family having played for the Rebels. As an offensive guard in the spread offense the Rebels utilized in 2019, he experienced blocking in both zone and power blocking schemes. With the Lane Train pulling into Oxford, there will be high expectations for the 2020 Rebel offense, and the offensive line will need the experience of Brown to lead the charge up front. The former consensus 3-star recruit and No. 1 OT in Mississippi will need to have a big year in the trenches to increase his draft stock.
– Wants to finish the block all the way to the ground and pulverize his opponent
– Understands the scheme. Knows where the play is going and where he needs to move or wall off defenders
– Constantly looking for work when not engaged
– Good grip strength. Does not let go of defenders without a fight
– Has experience playing both center and guard
Areas To Improve:
– Does not generate much drive off the line of scrimmage
– Steps are clunky and heavy in pass protection, limiting his ability to react
– Tends to grab rather than delivering a solid initial punch that shocks defenders
– When he does punch it tends to be late, while also lacking accuracy and power
– Plays with a high pad level and a forward lean that can throw him off balance at times
– Will often bend at the waist rather than with his knees
– Plays with a stiff lower body and his overall flexibility in his lower half is lacking
– Suffered an ankle injury in 2019 but did not miss time
Brown projects as a backup level interior lineman at the next level. His ability to play center as well as guard will give him more opportunities to make an NFL roster, but his deficiencies will hold him back from earning a significant role. He will fit best in a zone scheme where he can wall off defenders, and his experience in a power schemes could allow him to fit in a power oriented offense. But his struggles to create drive could cause problems in such a scheme. Teams looking to fill out the back end of their offensive line with a position versatile backup can find him available in the late Day 3 Rounds or as a PFA.
What To Watch In 2020:
Brown will need to exhibit better power in the run game by generating additional vertical push. He will also have to work on eliminating his tendency to lean forward and bend at the waist, while improving his flexibility in his lower half in turn. This would allow him to keep his balance more often, as well as lower his pad level. Improving the strength and accuracy of his initial punch, as well as his technique, will also be big areas for him to improve. Becoming a more fluid pass blocker and eliminating the clunky steps will improve his stock as well.