An interior defensive lineman isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when pondering New Orleans Saints draft needs. However, it’s up there, and snagging one in the first round is certainly not out of the question. The intriguing Texas product, Malcom Brown is a high riser as he continues to make a climb up the big board.
Since the Saints signed Brodrick Bunkley as a free agent in 2012, the former first-round pick has been a disappointment with injuries partially to blame. John Jenkins remains a promising candidate to take over full starting duties, but he’s no La’Roi Glover in the Big Easy.
Malcom Brown would be an excellent addition down on the bayou after the defense struggled mightily at stopping the run last season. With light feet, fluid athleticism and a bit of power, the former Longhorn has the tools to develop into a solid pass rusher in the NFL as well — another area the Saints lacked in.
He’s quick off the ball, shows great awareness and possesses rare change-of-direction skills for a guy his size. The best part about him is maturity, which coaches love to see. Brown has a wife and two kids and is already an active member in the community, volunteering for a program for families who have children with cancer or have lost young ones to the gruesome disease.
NFL Scouting Combine measurables:
Weight: 319 LBS
Arm Length: 32 1/2 inches
Hands: 10 inches
40-yard dash: 5.05 secs
Bench press (225 LBS): 26 reps
Vertical jump: 29.5 inches
Broad jump: 98.0 inches
3-cone drill: 7.84 secs
20-yard shuttle: 4.59 secs
"SOPHOMORE (2013)Started all 13 games at defensive tackle … finished the season ranked tied for third on the team in PBUs (5), third in tackles for loss (12) and third in QB pressures (6) … seventh on the team in tackles (68) … shared the team’s Joseph W. Moore Tenacity Award for Defense with Jackson Jeffcoat and Chris Whaley … posted seven tackles, including one for a loss, against the Aggies … had five stops and one fumble recovery vs. BYU … had three tackles, including one for a loss, and one pass breakup against Ole Miss … registered four tackles, including a career-high two for a loss and first collegiate sack, vs. Kansas State … recorded a career-high 10 tackles, including a career-high tying two for a loss and one sack, and one pass breakup against Iowa State … shared the team’s defensive player of the week award with Jackson Jeffcoat … had two stops in the win vs. Oklahoma, helping hold the Sooners to 263 total yards, their lowest total in the series since 2005 … posted six tackles, including one for a loss, and career highs in both pass breakups (2) and QB pressures (2) against TCU … notched five tackles, including one for a loss, vs. Kansas … had two stops and one pass breakup in the overtime win against West Virginia … posted seven tackles, including a career-high tying two for a loss, vs. Oklahoma State … notched six stops and one QB pressure against Texas Tech … registered six tackles, including one for a loss, vs. Baylor … recorded five tackles, including one for a loss, against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl."
Malcom Brown showed great improvement, making a jump in 2014. He finished his junior year (including bowl game) with 69 total tackles and 6.5 sacks, finishing as a finalist for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defensive player) and the Outland Trophy (best interior defensive lineman).
Of course with strengths, come weaknesses. Brown relies too much on his athleticism at times, often taking focus off his overall power. Rather than using a variety of power moves to penetrate the line, he’ll go for speed instead, which will give you trouble on the interior front. Other than that, there’s really no red flags.
Malcom Brown is durable, athletic, mean, powerful, has a high motor and possesses leadership qualities — just about everything you want from a defensive tackle, or any player at that. Better suited for a 4-3 alignment where he will have less double teams, Brown is still good enough to warrant first-round consideration from Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints for their scheme.