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Preseason Scouting Notes: Deonte Brown, OG, Alabama

Redshirt Senior | 6’4” 338 lbs | Decatur, AL

 

Road-grading Guard with NFL-ready strength who can dominate in the run game, but needs to improve his pass blocking

 

Overview:

Deonte Brown came to Alabama as a highly coveted 4-star recruit. He redshirted year one and played as a reserve his freshman season before becoming the starting left guard halfway through his redshirt sophomore campaign. He’s had struggles keeping his weight under control as he’s ballooned to over 350 pounds before the 2018 season. He was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2019 season for an NCAA violation, but took over the starting right guard upon his return. Last season Brown played in an RPO-heavy offense that ran a lot of misdirection and asked Brown to pull frequently.

Strengths:

– Has NFL ready size right away. Tall build with a thick lower body
– Has the strength to blow defenders off the ball
– A great puller. Shows a good bucket step and reaches his spot quickly
– When he gets moving, he’s a dangerous blocker in space
– Very relentless; can be seen blocking defenders to the ground
– Rarely commits penalties
– Moves well for his size
– Held his own against high-end competition

Areas to improve:

– Too often gives up his inside shoulder in pass protection
– Didn’t have too many true pass sets and struggled on the reps where he did set vertically
– Needs to improve his agility, too often will overshoot his man on a pull and let the defender inside
– He has issues with balance and can get caught with his shoulders too far out front
– Feet are a bit slow in pass protection
– Is slow to help other linemen when he doesn’t have a rusher in pass protection

Injury concerns:

– Had an undisclosed injury before the 2019 season that caused him to miss practice

Projection:

Deonte Brown has the size, strength, and athleticism to be one of the first guards selected in the 2021 draft, but he will need to improve in pass protection in order to do so. His pulling skill and ability to block in space would make him an ideal fit for a run-heavy, man blocking scheme. If he can take a big step as a pass protector, look for Brown to go as high as the second round as player ready to contribute immediately. If his pass blocking struggles continue, he will be a Day 3 athletic project.

What to watch in 2020:

Can he clean up the details? He has the strength to be a dominant run blocker, but he overextends too often on blocks. How will he improve as a pass protector? Hopefully he can get more reps on true passing sets. Brown will also have plenty of chances to play against good competition in the SEC, which should provide plenty of chances to show off any improvements.



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