It’s been a weird season for the Texas Longhorns, who have continued to improve every week despite injuries and the strength of their opponents.
In their rebuilding phase, head coach Charlie Strong is trying to hold on to his talent for as long as he can. But for defensive tackle Malcom Brown (who is arguably one of the best in the Big XII conference), his draft evaluation presents an interesting situation.
For starters, this summer the National Football League’s College Advisory Committee, made up of 12 NFL scouts and executives, amended a Draft evaluation rule limiting players considering declaring to a three assessment criteria. The new evaluation includes three assessments: whether a player will go in the first round, the second round, or whether a draft pick is unlikely, and that player should stay in school.
Previously, the CAC’s assessment criteria was five tier, including fourth and fifth round evaluations.
The reason for this change is that in 2014, a record high 98 underclassmen declared, of which, one-third went undrafted. The goal of the new evaluation system is to try and convince players to stay in school, improve, or get realistic about the position depth anticipated to declare.
The NFL and CAC are also limiting schools to just five assessments per season.
Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, believes that Brown will be a first round pick, and even though he’s only a junior, he’s a father, and a husband, too. When you consider how much stress a players’ body endures every year, this might be the appropriate time for him to take the next step in advancing his career. But of course, only if the evaluation is in his favor, as declaring early with a low assessment could hurt his chances of making an NFL roster.
The 6’2″, 320-pound DT has accounted for 3.5 sacks this season and 48 total tackles — including five solo tackles and a sack against UCLA that contributed to naming him an ESPN Midseason All-American last month.
“(Brown) has constantly been a disruptive force up the middle,” ESPN’s Max Olson said in the midseason mentions. “The junior should draw serious NFL attention by the end of the year.“
His stock will depend on his contributions for the rest of the season, as well as the evaluation. And if he can put up a convincing performance against TCU to end the season on Nov. 27, he should edge a sufficient amount of the competition to increase his assessment grade.
If Texas can beat Oklahoma next week, or pull off a win against TCU, his decision will be postponed till after his postseason, as the Longhorns will be bowl eligible.
*Section Photo credit to Nick Krug, Lawrence Journal; Featured Photo (above) credit to Richard Mackson, USA Today Sports