#95-3 Curtis Brown CB Texas Senior
(120 pts) 5115 ~ 185# 4.51 10 ~ 39½” ~ 10’-8” 32½” ~ 9½” DOB: 9/24/88
Initial Grade (Value): B+ Initial Grade (Potential/Fit/Need): B
Draft Day Analysis:
I should probably be more excited about this selection than I am. I had Curtis Brown ranked a fairly solid mid-to-late 2nd round prospect and we pick him up close to pick #100. That’s good value in my book and he is definitely a player at a need position.
The issue with Brown is I see a high-floor, low-ceiling player and that theme is starting to dominate my opinion of this draft class.
What Curtis Brown offers is solidification of the nickel cornerback position on this team sooner rather than later. Of all Brown’s talents, his ability to play the slot and variety of zone coverages seems his greatest asset. He might finally cure our struggles in nickel defenses that we saw as Gay, Burnett and Mundy got abused vs. 4-wide offenses.
What Curtis Brown doesn’t offer is a real potential to become a #1 CB. His footwork and top-notch speed just don’t seem to be there to ever take that leap. In fact, he might not even become a good #2. He could be a GREAT #3, but not quite have all the tools you look for if he stuck outside one-on-one. Maybe I’m wrong on this (I hope) and maybe he can excel at nickel duties early and show me something I don’t currently see when/if he gets promoted higher on the depth chart and moves outside the numbers. William Gay never made that transition and it ruined his career.
As far as options, the debate is really more about eye-of-the-beholder differences. I would have much preferred an outside the numbers, speed cornerback like Davon House. Curtis Marsh was another player in this mold that went 3 spots ahead of us to Philadelphia. But I understand exactly what the Steelers were thinking with this selection and despite being somewhat conservative, he does offer the more immediate return on investment. Maybe after being burned a bit by Keenan Lewis (who I would classify as a project “outside the numbers” cornerback), this pick in understandable.
Other Options: Davon House, CB (New Mexico St.)
Marcus Cannon, OT/OG (TCU)