We are now less than two weeks away from the 2020 NFL Draft and as we approach the closest thing sports fans have to a live sporting event during this COVID-19 pandemic, sportsbooks continue to give bettors ample opportunity for action. There are markets ranging from how many players at certain positions will be selected in the first round, to how many players from individual schools, to who will be drafted by a particular team as well as even head-to-head draft position props.
William Hill Sportsbook has set the over/under on the overall draft position for star defensive tackle Derrick Brown at 8.5. The over 8.5 is listed as the favorite at odds of -125 with the under listed at odds of +105.
What does history tell us?
Since 2010, a total of 72 defensive linemen have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft. The most recent defensive lineman to be taken No. 1 overall was Myles Garrett, who the Browns selected with the first pick of the 2017 draft. Jadeveon Clowney, chosen by the Houston Texans back in 2014, is the only other player besides Garrett at the position to be selected with the first overall pick during that span.
Last year’s draft produced the most when a total of 10 defensive linemen were taken in the opening round. The oddsmakers project that we will see half as many taken in the first round this year. After Ohio State’s defensive end Chase Young, Auburn’s defensive tackle Derrick Brown is a near-consensus among all respected mock drafts to be the second defensive lineman taken in the top part of the first round.
Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Brown is the prototypical NFL run-stuffer at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds that NFL scouts and GMs crave as cornerstones of their interior lines. Over his four-year career as a member of the Auburn Tigers, he developed into a disruptive force, posting 33 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He became a Tigers starter as a sophomore in '17 and has improved his productivity each year, culminating with 55 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4 pass defenses, 2 forced fumbles and 2 recoveries as a senior, earning All-AP and All-SEC first-team honors.
After testing lower at the combine than many expected, some have begun to question how his athleticism will translate at the next level. Don’t think the criticism went unnoticed by Brown, who took to Twitter back on March 1 to respond with a drill showing his extraordinary athleticism.
On the other hand, some respected scouts view Brown as a better overall prospect than Ndamukong Suh, who went No. 2 overall back in the 2010 draft.
I believe the comparisons to Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles are the most accurate and is the type of player worth considering in the top 10. Brown is a defensive tackle with a rare combination of size and disruptive traits that makes him nearly impossible to neutralize at the point of attack. I love Brown’s high motor and desire to dominate, as well as a guy who plays with a chip on his shoulder after being facing criticism throughout his rise to the top.
He’s also a high character guy off the field as well, which was recognized when he received the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy awarded annually to College Football’s best defensive player in both character and performance. “Impact” is an acronym for: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity. The award is named in honor of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back, Ronnie Lott.
Final Thoughts: From all indications, many mock drafts have Brown either landing with Carolina at No. 7, Arizona at No. 8 or Jacksonville at No. 9. I don’t see Brown falling out of the top 10 at this point. I believe Brown will be “beat the odds” once again on draft night and be drafted higher than the oddsmakers are projecting.
The Play: UNDER pick 8.5 (+105)
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