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Trenchmen’s Corner: Deonte Brown, OG, University of Alabama | Former CFL scout Dave Van Nett breaks down his game

Deonte Brown Alabama Scouting Report Trenchmen's Corner
Former CFL Scout Dave Van Nett is not a big fan of Deonte Brown from Alabama. Check out the veteran line coaches assessment.
  • Name: Deonte Brown
  • College: University of Alabama
  • High School – Austin High School​
  • Hometown  – Decatur, Alabama
  • Jersey – 65
  • Position – Left Guard
  • Height – 6’3 1/4
  • Weight – 364 before pro day 344 currently
  • Wingspan – 80 ¾
  • Arm – 32 3/8
  • Hand – 9 1/8

Overview:

​Deonte had a very successful high school career which included being ranked in the top ten athletes in Alabama and being ranked in the top ten guards in the country.  Deonte turned down both Auburn and Tennessee to play for Coach Saban at Alabama.  

​At Alabama Deonte was redshirted his freshman year and earned his way into the rotation his redshirt freshman year.  He mostly played special teams his redshirt freshman and sophomore years.  In his career at Alabama he played in 48 games and started in 26 games.  He did receive all first-team SEC honors by league coaches and second-team SEC honors by the Associated Press. Deonte also appeared in all four National Championship games, winning in two of them.

Film Review:

​From time to time there are players in the NCAA that are good players and have had the opportunity to play at a very high level, but their skill level may not translate to the NFL.  Unfortunately, I believe Deonte is one of these players.  I really wanted to evaluate Deonte on his merits alone, without the “Alabama” marquise hanging over his head or having it influence my perspective.  Deonte does have some strong positive attributes but he also has a lot to work on if he is going to be successful at the next level.  

Assessment:

First off, Deonte did play at the highest level of the NCAA, four National Championship appearances with two wins.  This does give him a taste of what is to come, when and if he goes to the NFL.

Deonte is a large bodied young man with large legs and calves.

With a wingspan of almost 81 inches he has the reach to be effective.

He takes up a lot of space on the offensive line making it, at times, difficult for defenders to penetrate the backfield. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen due to some technique issues.

When he does get a hold of a defender, he has the ability to push him around easily. 

He double teams well, but has a difficult time getting to the second level at times.

Deonte plays out of a two point stance in pass pro, and three point in run protection.

He has a tendency to sit in his stance which opens his chest up to the defender, and he rests his forearm and hand on his knee a lot, where it should be up and ready to pass punch.

Post snap he can be explosive but then trails off after a few steps.  This is evident in the 2020 game against Missouri.

Deonte’s attack points at the second level and while pulling is at times off point, causing a defender to get by him.

This at times is common for Deonte, not finishing blocks that is.  He has a tendency to not play to the whistle and it has caused the quarterback to be hurried or even be sacked. 

While in pass pro Deonte at times opens his hips and his hands go wide on the defender.

Injuries

Injuries: Deonte missed a significant amount of games in both 2018 and 2019 for blood clots in his lungs, is my understanding.

Prediction:

​Deonte played and contributed to Alabama’s championship runs two out of the four years he was there and won two national championships; but does this make him a top choice in the 2021 NFL Draft?  Many people think it does and that Deonte is ready to start for a NFL team this coming season.  I do not.  

Like I previously stated, if you take Deonte out of Alabama and evaluate him just on his skills he is at most a 6th or 7thround draft pick.  I give him a rating of a C- for these reasons.  Even though he has some desirable traits he has a lot to fix.  The question becomes if an offensive line coach wants to help him correct the issues. 

I can see him being a backup or even a practice squad player for a couple seasons to see if he develops.  He would be best suited for a run heavy team in order to utilize his size.

The elephant in the room is his health.  He missed numerous games in two different seasons due to blood clots.  Can he even pass an NFL physical?

ABOUT DAVE:

David Van Nett is a 17-year football coach and former CFL scout. He was hired by Head Coach Chris Jones, 4 times Grey Bowl coach, to be the area scout in the Carolinas. David is an Army veteran and retired law enforcement officer as well. Make sure you follow him on Twitter @coach_vannett

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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