Duane Brown (OT)
Regarded as the best athlete on the team, Duane Brown started three seasons at offensive tackle after converting from tight end.
After lining up on the right side as a sophomore and junior, Brown was shifted to left tackle as a senior. The offense struggled throughout the 2007 season, as the front wall allowed 54 quarterback sacks after giving up only 29 in 2006.
Brown lettered twice as a tight end and defensive end at Hermitage High School. He was rated the 13th-best prospect in Virginia by the Roanoke Times and Super Prep, ranked 49th among the nation's tight ends by Rivals100.com, and rated 37th on Tom Lemming's All-Mid Atlantic team.
He played in the Panthers' first three games his senior year before suffering a broken leg, but returned for the Central Region semifinal game, catching seven passes for just under 100 yards in his limited playing time. He also recorded 15 tackles, along with a pair of sacks to earn second-team All-District honors.
As a junior, Brown registered 10 catches for 115 yards and two scores, while contributing six sacks on defense. He also lettered in basketball, averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds a game. In track, he finished fourth in the Group AAA outdoor shot put competition.
Brown enrolled at Virginia Tech, red-shirting as a tight end on the scout team in 2003. He appeared in 13 games as a reserve tight end in 2004, catching three passes for 64 yards (21.3-yard average) and one touchdown. He participated on 157 offensive snaps and 150 more on special teams.
Brown was listed second on the depth chart at tight end during fall drills, but prior to the season opener, he moved to right offensive tackle, starting all thirteen games. In 673 offensive snaps, he collected fifteen knockdown blocks. He also appeared in 148 special team plays.
As a junior, Brown continued to excel at right tackle. He registered 22 knockdowns in a total of 806 snaps. He also performed on special teams, recording two tackles while blocking a field goal. He earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition and was voted state Offensive Lineman/End of the Year by the Richmond Touchdown Club.
In 2007, Brown garnered second-team All-ACC honors. He switched to left offensive tackle, totaling 34 knockdowns, but he also allowed 8.5 of the 54 sacks given up by the front wall. He blocked a pair of kicks and registered four tackles. He also became a two-time state Offensive Lineman/End of the Year pick by the Richmond Touchdown Club.
Brown registered 71 knockdown blocks in his three seasons as an offensive tackle...Also recorded six tackles 94 solo) and blocked three kicks on special teams...On offense, he caught three passes for 64 yards (21.3-yard average) and one touchdown, adding three yards on a rushing attempt.
Attended Hermitage (Richmond, Va.) High School, playing football for head coach Patrick Kane...Lettered twice as a tight end and defensive end...Rated the 13th-best prospect in Virginia by the Roanoke Times and Super Prep, ranked 49th among the nation's tight ends by Rivals100.com, and rated 37th on Tom Lemming's All-Mid Atlantic team...Played in the Panthers' first three games his senior year before suffering a broken leg, but returned for the Central Region semifinal game, catching seven passes for just under 100 yards in his limited playing time...Also recorded 15 tackles, along with a pair of sacks to earn second-team All-District honors...As a junior, Brown registered 10 catches for 115 yards and two scores, while contributing six sacks on defense...Lettered in basketball, averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds a game...In track, he finished fourth in the Group AAA outdoor shot put competition.
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Positives: Has good upper-body thickness, big waist and hips, good muscle development in his chest, shoulders and arms, decent bubble and adequate leg thickness...Needs to show more consistency, but plays with good aggression, especially when he properly shoots his hands -- has the strength to stop a defender in his tracks, but needs to keep his hands inside his frame better...Displays the functional foot quickness for short-slide protection, just needs to be consistent...Has balance and body control, as well as quickness and balance to readjust and generally play on his feet...Lacks the hip snap to generate movement, but is light on his feet for a player his size...Will go through stretches where he reaches and seals the seven-tech, but then all of a sudden, he gets beaten off the edge...Has adequate recovery balance, but is rarely on the ground...Even when he comes out of his stance too high, he has enough athletic ability to maneuver in tight areas...Quick to position and when he opens his hips and stays active with his hands, he can screen and turn the defender...Can force the chase route, but must learn to work his hips better...More of a position or wall-off type of drive blocker, but when he keeps his pad level down, he is good at reaching and scooping...When he gets movement on the double-team, he can gain advantage and seal off and even when he gets too high before contact, he can adjust and strike with force (just needs to become more confident in shooting and resetting his hands)...Must do a better job of staying lower in his pads on in-line pulls, but is able to locate defenders with a good chest strike...Will over-set in pass protection, but has the foot balance to recover and also shows the functional speed and athletic ability to climb to the second level...Has poor knee bend to strike vs. move-oriented pass rushers, but somehow manages to adjust to moving targets...Is aware of how to use his body mass to sustain blocks and while he is stronger on top than in his legs, he is starting to learn how to grab for control (just gets off-balance when he lunges)...Is starting to develop a better feel for extending his arms to get into the defender and seal off...Still a very raw product, but his athletic ability, quickness and frame indicate that he could develop into a special player, if he receives patient coaching.
Negatives: Still learning proper hand technique, he will lean into a defender rather than use his long reach to stave the opponent off...Despite his quick feet, he struggled out on an island on the left side, as he failed to contain the speed rushers due to marginal kick slide and would be better served returning to the right side until he can gain more experience (has only played on the offensive line for three years of his entire football career, including high school)...Needs to be more explosive with his hand technique and shows marginal flexibility in alignment...Plays with only adequate awareness in pass protection, he does not yet have that natural feel or awareness to locate and pick up defenders on the move...Has had some academic issues and needs more than a few reps to retain plays...Has good aggression, but needs to show it with better consistency...Is not the type that will put in the extra hours in the weight and film rooms and needs to develop a better work ethic...Plays with just adequate knee bend, making him appear stiff when having to move down the line...Possesses an adequate base as a run-blocker, but lacks good hip drive and fails to sink his weight consistently to generate movement...Has only adequate adjustment quickness and is more of a wall off-and-sustain type of blocker than one that will generate strong pop and drive on contact...Needs to stay low in his pads, as he will get too tall in his base when initiating contact and loses leverage...Appears to be stiff in his hips and this affects his balance and body control when trying to get out in front on traps and pulls...Likes to get into a defender's chest, but needs to do it with more discrepancy, as he gets caught a lot by the line judges, resulting in a high amount of holding penalties (flagged seven times in 2007 -- see Ohio University, North Carolina, both Boston College games and vs. Florida State)...Must show better hip roll and play with a wider base to compensate for a lack of knee movement...His base tends to get too narrow vs. upfield pass-rushers and while he has the ability to generate a short slide, he leans into his man too much (gets top-heavy)...Struggles with change-up rushes across his face and will revert to oversetting vs. the outside edge rushers...Needs to improve his hand usage to create better separation, as he will sometimes struggle to control and redirect defenders...Plays too tall in his pass set, and will struggle to redirect vs. speed moves....Must improve his lower-body strength, as two-gap defenders have good success pushing him back into the pocket...For some reason, he will ankle-bite instead of standing up and facing up to them when trying to cut block.
Compares To: JASON PETERS-Buffalo...Some might be scared off by the negatives in Brown's scouting report. But Brown has the same qualities as an athlete that Peters showed coming out of college. Both are former tight ends with minimal playing time at offensive tackle. The only thing that worries scouts about Brown is his learning ability, which could be an issue at the pro level. A coach that will both light his fire but bring him along slowly while revamping his technique might find gold with Brown. Buffalo more than got by taking that approach with Peters.
2002: Missed the final eight regular season games of his high school senior year with a broken bone in his left fibula.
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