The New York Giants drafted linebacker Cam Brown in the sixth round on Saturday. Let’s take a look at what he can bring to the field.
Defense was the name of the game for the New York Giants in the final two rounds of this year’s NFL Draft. Having selected four linebackers and a cornerback during that span, it’s clear Big Blue wanted to add depth to a unit that’s struggled mightily since the 2017 season.
The first of those five picks (round six, No. 183 overall) happened to be Cam Brown, a talented linebacker out of Penn State. He’ll be fighting for playing time and it’ll be interesting to see in both training camp and the preseason what he can bring to this organization.
It’s still unknown when players will hit the field. But until then, let’s take a look at Brown’s collegiate film and assess his true on-field strengths.
Film room notes
This first collection of clips is from Penn State’s 2019 win over Pittsburgh, a matchup in which Brown racked up seven total tackles (three solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one pass defended.
On this upcoming play, Brown (No. 6) is able to quickly enter the backfield, break down, wrap up, and bring the ball carrier to the ground right near the line of scrimmage. It’s that kind of technique that will help him succeed at the next level.
Head coach Joe Judge preaches versatility, and that’s what Brown brings to the linebacker position. On these next three plays, he respectively lines up as an off-ball linebacker before dropping back in coverage, then as an outside linebacker, and then finally as more of a slot cornerback before coming up on the blitz.
Brown additionally possesses the ability to shed blockers in pursuit of the ball carrier, as shown in the following pair of clips.
On this next play, Brown portrays his pass-rushing abilities. He ultimately forces Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett into overthrowing the running back coming out of the backfield on 3rd-and-goal.
But his fast, ferocious style of play isn’t just limited to pass-rushing scenarios. On this play below, he executes a quick and speedy pursuit on the running back who caught a pass out in the flat.
Let’s move on and take a look at Brown’s performance during the Nittany Lions’ 2018 win over Iowa. One of the newest Giants happened to record six total tackles (five solo) and one forced fumble in that matchup.
In this initial clip, Brown does a great job making contact on the ball with his shoulder, forcing a fumble of Iowa running back Ivory Kelly-Martin.
Brown, once again, portrays his versatility on this following play, lining right up on one of the Iowa receivers as more of a cornerback before dropping back in coverage.
His speed really shines on this next play, as Brown is able to catch up with Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent before he can reach the end zone.
And then in this final clip, Brown puts his pass-rushing abilities on display, hurrying Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley into throwing the ball out of bounds in a late-game scenario.
As was said before, Judge preaches versatility, a quality Brown carries in his game. If he can transfer it to the pros, he’ll have an advantage over other reserve linebackers when it comes to impressing the coaching staff.
And that’s what’s going to be big for him during the training camp and preseason periods. Brown must catch the eyes of these coaches, including defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, and outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema. He needs to do something to stand out, and if he exhibits the athleticism he had as a Nittany Lion, he’ll see time on the field.
All in all, Brown may be put in a number of different on-field scenarios and still succeed. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out for him and where the Giants decide to field him later this year.