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2016 NFL Draft Profile: Purdue Cornerback Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown put up eye opening numbers at the combine. How will that translate to his position in the NFL draft?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Profile: (Indicates Combine Ranking In Terms of Other Defensive Backs)

Height: 5'11

Weight: 192

40 Yard Dash: 4.35 (2nd)

Bench Press: 19 (2nd)

Vertical Jump: 35 (NR)

Broad Jump: 115 (NR)

3 Cone Drill: 7.03 (12th)

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.19 (14th)

60 Yard Shuttle: 11.19 (5th)


Honestly, I was shocked by how well Anthony Brown performed at the combine. I had no idea he had this sort of speed because he spend most of his time at Purdue in a scheme that saw him lining up 5 to 7 yards off the ball, and then bailing out after the snap in a baby poop soft zone. I just assumed that he wasn't that fast, and Purdue was using the zone to protect him. It turns out Purdue had one of the fastest and strongest DB's in the draft playing soft zone coverage and basically giving the other team 5 yards a completion whenever they felt like taking it. Looking at his performance at the combine, Brown has top notch speed and strength, and above average quickness. He's not an explosive leaper, but at 5'11, he has good size for the position. Brown played a ton at Purdue proving to be a durable, hard tackling defensive back / safety. Brown is a prolific tackler at Purdue, which usually isn't a good thing for a defensive back. In 2013 he recorded 69 tackles, good for 2nd on the team. In 2014 he recorded 54 tackles, coming in 5th on the team. In 2015 he recorded 60 tackles, good for 4th on the team. Those are absurd number of tackles for a guy that primarily played corner, and really speaks to the bend and then break defensive scheme Purdue employed during his tenure. Brown finished his career with only 4 interceptions, but all of those were collected in his senior season, so he is at least trending up in that regard. It's hard to blame him for not having many picks, because he usually wasn't around the ball that much due to scheme....sigh....sigh....gag.


Can Anthony Brown actually cover someone man to man? I have no idea, and I'm guessing most NFL teams don't have any idea either. He played the majority of his time playing zone defense, and had virtually no pass rush to protect him on the outside when he was responsible for deep coverage. He was susceptible to getting beat on double moves, but when the other team has completed 7 5 yard passes in a row, it's probably hard not to bite on the hitch and go on the 8th reception. NFL GM's are going to have a hard time translating what they see on tape to the numbers they saw at the combine. Was Brown a marginal player with limited cover skills and excellent athleticism in workouts, or was he a guy being misused in a terrible system? That is going to be quite a conundrum for NFL GM's to sus out.


Brown's top notch combine numbers will get him into the draft, but there are so many questions surrounding his abilities, that a guy with 2nd or 3rd round talent will most likely drop into the 5th or 6th round. It really makes you wonder what could have been.