It’s an interesting question and I’m not sure what the correct answer is. When recruiting sites rate prospects, how much are they weighing potential versus what the player is right now?
When I watch defensive tackle Derrick Brown, I see 5 star potential, but I don’t see a 5 star player on the field yet. His progress on the field as a senior and at the college level is going to be extremely interesting to monitor because he has the raw talent to be as good as any other player in this recruiting class.
Brown is big enough to plug into a defensive tackle position at the college level right now with room to add even more weight. With his length and frame, he has ideal measurables for the position. His movement skills for someone his size are remarkable. He’s a very good athlete that runs like a much smaller player.
Brown plays end for his high school team and he is able to at that level because he moves like a much smaller player. He shows ridiculous closing speed in pursuit for a player his size and an ability to tackle better in space than some linebackers.
He flashes an explosive first step at times, but is very inconsistent with his snap anticipation. He too often stands up out of his stance and is able to just be an athlete and pursue to the football, but that isn’t going to cut it in the SEC. He needs to be a lot less passive and be more violent with his hands, use his length better, and be the kind of penetrator into the backfield that he has shown he is capable of being.
He has the chance to be a dominant interior pass rusher because of his quickness and the way he converts speed to power. Even athletic guards will have trouble with him because of the way he can naturally bend to beat them. Like just about every defensive lineman his age, he needs to develop some pass rush moves, but that should hopefully come with time.
He is athletic enough to play as a 5 technique end in a 3-4, but is likely best suited as a 3 technique in a 4-3.
His ceiling is so high, but he has some work to do before he can approach that ceiling. Consistency is the key. Being that big and talented is so rare and hopefully the light will click on for him when going against better competition because the game almost seems too easy for him in high school. He has All-American potential if he can put it all together.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). In addition to here, he breaks down Virginia Tech recruits for 247Sports’ VTscoop.com, Notre Dame recruits for SB Nation’s One Foot Down, and is the recruiting editor for SB Nation’s Pac-12 blog, Pacific Takes. Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.