We’re back after a little break due to the slow down in NFL news because of the coronavirus, but now Pro Football Magazine is happy to welcome our friend from Cover 1, NFL scout Russ Brown (@RussNFLDraft), as we sat down with Russ to discuss the Tyler Biadasz injury, how Russ has ranked the quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, and much more.
We hope you join the discussion below in the comments, and as always a big thanks to our interview guest for taking the time.
Can you describe in a few sentences the things you look for when evaluating defensive line prospects?
Russ Brown: When watching defensive line prospects, the first thing you have to pay attention to is their alignment. If you don’t know where they’re aligned, you’re not going to understand what their role is. They could be in a wide-9 to have that speed rush on the outside hip of the OT or they could be playing two-gapping while head up on the OT. Understanding all of that is important.
Next, you want to focus on their stance. How comfortable do they look in that stance? If they’re in a 3-point stance, do they have a flat back or more aligned in a sprinter stance? Overall, how’s their base?
You want a DL (defensive lineman) that has good control and a stance that’s shoulder-width apart to keep themselves square to help at the POA (point of attack). Next, you want to see their explosiveness. Being the first man off the ball and get that split second advantage can make all the difference in the world.
Aside from all of this, you want to see what type of PR plan they have. Do they come to the dinner table prepared or is it just one-dimensional (appetizers and that’s it) for the DL? You want to see a combination of pass rush moves with good hand speed to know that the DL can handle his own against some of the best OL in the league. I could go on for hours on the position, but those are some of the big things I look for.
Who is one player in this 2020 draft class that is not being talked about much at all, but that you think has a chance to start day one and be a real contributor to an NFL team? And why do you think he’s not being talked about?
Russ Brown: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin. It’s not that he’s forgotten, he just didn’t have the season he was expected to have. Injuries really held him back and he looks maxed out from the perspective of overall strength. However, he’ll be a solid day two pick that can plug-and-play from day one.
He’s got 41 starts at center, has a high football IQ, and is a great leader. Meanwhile, he’s a smooth operator in space. His draft process has been halted due a shoulder surgery to repair his AC joint in his right shoulder. He should be ready to go by August or early September, if not sooner. Regardless, draft him and don’t think twice about it.
How do you have the top three quarterbacks in this class graded, and why do you have them in that order?
Russ Brown: (Joe) Burrow is without question the best QB prospect I’ve studied since Andrew Luck. He can make every throw, great ball placement, and his vision is what really separates him. He sees the field with ease, processes quickly and maneuvers well around the pocket. Should be a 12-15 year guy for the Cincinnati Bengals and the face of their franchise.
What are your favorite and least favorite positions to evaluate and why is that so?
Russ Brown: To be honest, I love it all. It does depend on the day and the team or player I’m watching. Sometimes you can turn on the tape, and you will fall in love instantly. Other times, it takes two or three games to find the niche of the player you’re watching. Then there are some teams that are tough to watch because they do a “check with me” 47 times before the ball is snapped. If I had to pick though, it would be OL/DL as my favorite to watch. It’s trench play. I want to see grown men beat each other up. Least favorite would be defensive backs. They’re fun when they get some action and it’s cool to see them backpedal but it’s a position I continue to learn and appreciate.
(Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)