This is the fifth in our series of articles taking a deeper dive using data and game with the use of data and game film into the Giants' 2020 draft class. We have already studied Andrew Thomas, Xavier McKinney, Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux. Here is a look at sixth round pick Cam Brown, linebacker out of Penn State.
I like to use two different metrics when evaluating a player's measureables. The first is RAS, which stands for Relative Athletic Score. It is a formula created by Kent Lee Platte and compares a player's measurements and testing during the pre-draft process to everyone else at the position that has been tested since 1987. A 10 is the highest score with 5 being a true average score. You can find all the class's RAS scores at relativeathleticscores.com.
The other useful illustration are the spider graphs posted at mockdraftable.com, which provides a nice visual of what a player's strengths are compared to others at the position. The numbers represent the percentile each player ranks in each category relative to the other players at his position.
When you look at Cam Brown's build, one word immediately comes to mind: LONG. At 6-5 and with 34 inch arms, he has amazing reach and wingspan. Brown is a bit lithe at only 233 pounds and he only put up 16 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press, but he makes up for that with his athleticism.
His 4.72 time in the 40 is average, according to RAS. His vertical and broad jump numbers are excellent, indicating he has some explosion in his game. He did not run agility drills at the NFL combine. Finding players with an above average profile like Brown and meet certain thresholds in the sixth round gives him a much better chance to make it in the league long term.
College History (Advanced Production Numbers Courtesy of Pro Football Focus)
2016: True Freshman Season - 13 games with 2 starts at linebacker
PFF Numbers: 33 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks
2017: Sophomore Season - 12 games with no starts at linebacker, 1 pass defended
PFF Numbers: 31 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 pass defender, 10 QB pressures,
2018: Junior Season - 13 games with 12 starts at linebacker - led team in forced fumbles
PFF Numbers: 63 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 6 passes defended, 12 QB pressures
2019: Senior Season - 13 games, 12 starts at linebacker - Team Captain, 3rd Team All-Big Ten
PFF Numbers: 72 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 4 passes defended, 16 QB pressures
Cam Brown was invited to and attended the Senior Bowl.
Overall: 142nd on PFF's big board - 4th round projection
Injuries: He had no significant injuries reported in college though he missed a game in both 2016 and 2017. He missed no games in his junior or senior seasons.
Athletic Background: Brown was the 19th ranked linebacker in the 2016 recruiting class and 10th in the state of Maryland. He participated in track (triple jump and discus) in high school and played wide receiver, catching passes from Dwayne Haskins.
Brown primarily played over the tight end as a SAM linebacker in Penn State's 4-3 scheme. Here are some plays that jumped off his tape.
We'll start with a play where Brown is positioned over a wide receiver off the line of scrimmage. This wide receiver really regrets trying to block Cam Brown. On a quick screen outside, Brown uses his length and strength to toss the receiver that tried to block him to the ground before assisting in the tackle.
Brown is split out very wide on this play, too. He attacks another wide receiver screen, quickly fights off the block, and makes the tackle in the open field.
Here's a play that shows Brown's range and reach. He drops into a zone in the middle of the field and gets all the way to the sideline to use his long arms to tackle the ball-carrier.
On this run, Brown shows discipline by staying at home on the edge. The Michigan State running back thinks about bouncing the run outside when there is little room up the middle, but he sees Brown waiting for him. He moves inside instead, and Brown closes for the tackle for loss. If Brown was overaggressive here, the running back could have eluded his tackle and broken contain outside.
On this outside run, Brown gets inside the tight end and upfield, making a play in the backfield for a solo tackle for loss.
He is set up over a slot receiver on this play, and blitzing. Ohio State runs the ball to the opposite side of the field. Brown hustles from the backside, maintains the proper angle and makes the play.
On this play, Brown shows excellent recognition, hesitating for only a moment as he attacks the line of scrimmage. He quickly recognizes the flea-flicker and sacks the quarterback.
Brown has the size, length and athleticism to be an interesting piece in Patrick Graham's defense. He will play immediately on special teams but could find a role on the defense, too.