They call him "Cornbread," which pretty much says everything one needs to know about former Alabama guard Deonte Brown as a football player.
The offensive lineman is massive, powerful and nearly impossible to move.
That makes him a pretty decent prospect, even if he doesn't get selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Two things will likely keep that from happening:
1) His lack of versatility. Brown can only play one position, guard, and most teams want players who can potentially play anywhere on the line.
2) His position. You don't see too many guards selected in the first round.
However, it also means Brown probably won't drop much, because even though he might play the most un-sexy position in football, it's still a power game.
That sort of contradiction is something that gets on the nerves of former NFL/college head coach Jim Mora Jr., along with analysts who say that big interior linemen like him may not have the best interior movement.
"At 344 pounds, unless you’re a dancing bear, you’re going to struggle a little bit with your lateral movement," Mora said.
"His strength is the power game, and people love that. You like tough guys, right? You like guys who are going to blast people off the line of scrimmage. You like guys that can move the line of scrimmage. Push people off the ball, and I think Deonte can do that."
With Brown, his size became more of an issue after showing up to the Senior Bowl weighing 364 pounds.
However, for his Pro Day he a full 18 pounds lighter.
"It was good to see," NFL network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "He was too heavy there [at the Senior Bowl]. He definitely helped himself and it need to happen."
Hometown: Decatur, Ala.
• Played in 48 career games with 26 starts.
• Earned first team All-SEC honors from the league coaches, named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press.
• Played 843 snaps during the 2020 season and missed only two assignments while committing four penalties. Allowed half of a sack, one pressure and five quarterback hurries.
What they said ...
Zierlein, NFL.com: A starting guard for the better part of three seasons, Brown is wide, strong and built low to the ground with a natural leverage advantage. While he shines as an in-line power blocker, teams might also take note of his solid technique and reactive quickness. He worked extremely well with center Landon Dickerson on double teams and twists. His lack of length and physical traits will turn some teams off, as will his weight and body type. He's steady and powerful, though. Brown has the potential to become a starter for a power-based rushing team that doesn't adhere to strict traits standards.
SI analyst Jim Mora Jr.: "He’s a big, wide body offensive guard. He’s going to fit best in a power-run scheme where he’s doubling down on the nose [tackle], and then come off and get the linebacker on the second level, which is not something that he does great. But he’s a guy if someone tries and bull-rush him, it’s like hitting a brick wall: Bam!. They’re never going to be able to push him back into the quarterback. There’s value there."
Ian Cummings, Pro Football Focus: Brown is huge, yes, but he also offers decent mobility for his size, and his initial burst off the line allows him to get where he needs to be when roaming around the trenches. Brown doesn’t have the versatility that Leatherwood and Dickerson do. He’ll be confined to guard at the next level. Nevertheless, as it stands, he can be a strong starter in a power scheme, and if he trims weight, he could bring more consistency in zone concepts.
Draft projection: Third round.
This is the sixth in a series of Crimson Tide profiles for the 2021 NFL Draft