This is ridiculous that I am still talking about players that the Chargers drafted but I that speaks to the talent that they brought in. This was me coming into the start of the draft Saturday.
Who I want to start the day https://t.co/cAf5Gny5Hu— KP (@KP_Show) April 30, 2016
What San Diego desperately needs is team speed and athleticism. I love everything about Denzel Perryman but as a rookie, he wasn't very aware in pass coverage and was a step slow to react. Manti Te'o is aware, but I wouldn't trust him in 1-on-1 situations. I don't want to place any expectations on him, but eventually, Jatavius Brown could be exactly what the Chargers need on passing downs, someone who can cover at the 2nd level.
I don't blame you if you're not familiar with Brown, he did play at Akron. A lot of the guys that I share ideas with back and forth on Twitter that watch a ton of draft players were enamored with Brown. Loved him. "He's what Myles Jack was supposed to be." "A steal." "I would've taken him in the 3rd round." Tom Telesco echoed that when Brown was drafted and said he received multiple texts from friends around the league saying it was a great pick.
There were only three linebackers that I felt would help the Chargers in the draft. They were "my guys." They took 1 in the 4th round. The other was Florida's Antonio Morrison. The 3rd was Brown. Why? Because of plays like the ones below.
That doesn't exist on the team. Brown brings real versatility. Where he is good at multiple spots. Not just the fact that he can line up there.
Jatavis Brown 14/15 snap profile:— Ben Stockwell (@PFF_Ben) February 22, 2016
Off ball LB: 1,251 snaps
CB: 1 https://t.co/Ufs8ON5VoC
The reason he was available this late is because of his missed tackles and his size. He is 5'11 and 227 pounds. I don't get the big deal with his size considering he had 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. It's not like the 2015 MAC player of the year wasn't productive. Watching him, sure he got ate up when he was 1-on-1 with an offensive lineman at times, but that happens to guys 20 pounds heavier than him as well. Here is a look at some of his missed tackles.
As you can see, the issue is going high and not running his feet. That's a future 1st round running back he's trying to tackle there. Brown doesn't stand a chance if he doesn't run his feet on contact. You saw some good there, though. You saw Brown's ability to work through traffic and locate the ball carrier. With his athleticism, he's going to be in a position to make plays that other players just have no chance making. So some of his missed tackles end up slowing the ball carrier down and allowing his teammates to finish the play.
What he can do is make plays. He can close. He can realllyyyy close.
Jatavis Brown vs Bowling Green. Him fast. Him good pic.twitter.com/BZauvDqGw7— KP (@KP_Show) May 2, 2016
He rushes the passer a lot better than you'd imagine. In the last clip, he shows off the "one arm is longer than two" principle. He's sneaky. He finds his way through the smallest of crevices and finishes. I like it. Where Brown is really going to make his impact though is in the passing game. I saw him run stride for stride with receivers down field, and it looked like it was easy. He does his job. I love when players find work. Not dropping to a spot and hoping someone comes to their area. Brown finds work.
Brown vs OU. Coverage things & speed pic.twitter.com/ThW9lYuual— KP (@KP_Show) May 2, 2016
Adding an above average athlete is one thing. Adding an above average athlete and football player is another. The Chargers did that. I imagine of all the draft picks he'll take the longest to adjust, but he might have the highest ceiling after Bosa. Some of the big draft media have mentioned if you have a plan for Brown, this could be the steal of the draft. That's what I'm most interested in, we know he's going to be covering kicks, but how will the team work Brown into the defense? You can't go 4-12 and continue to field the same players. The team has done a great job of changing its identity this draft and Brown should be a part of that. Personally, I would use him on 3rd downs as a "robber" Kam Chancellor type player. I would also blitz the heck out of him because he's just too quick for linemen. It'll be interesting. The fact that there are no expectations makes this pick so good. If Brown can be the player many of the guys who are familiar with, we will look back and scratch our head as to why he lasted here.
What are your realistic expectations for Brown and where would you play him?