Cincinnati Bengals Prospect Watch: Malcom Brown
Sep 13, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive tackle Malcom Brown (90) sacks UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17)during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off of a bye week and then a lack-luster performance last Sunday night, it is easy to point fingers and say,” the Bengals have a lot of holes to fill before they are a championship team.” Wait a second, this is the same team plenty of experts picked to go deep into the playoffs and really make a run at a Super Bowl. With that said, the Bengals need to draft the best players available in the coming draft to help them win a championship. And with college football ruling Saturdays, is there a better time to discuss a potential prospect for the Bengals?
Looking at last week and the season overall, it is easy to see the Bengals are not getting much penetration up the middle as they are struggling to stop the run. The Bengals defense ranks 18th against the run, allowing an even 5.0 yards per carry, and 5.3 yards per offensive play. Former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer used to say, “talk to me at Thanksgiving and we’ll talk about where we are,” but this defensive front needs some help.
Two weeks ago, we put the spotlight on Nebraska standout defensive end Randy Gregory. This week will not be much different when pointing out University of Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown (not to be confused with UT running back Malcolm Brown). Why a D-Tackle when the Bengals have Domata Peko, Geno Atkins, Devon Still and Brandon Thompson? Again, 5.0 yards per carry on the ground flat out means there is little to no push up the middle. The only push is from opposing offensive linemen pushing around our defensive tackles. Yes, I know a defensive tackle from the Big 12 is not the flashiest or sexiest pick, but at this point it’s about winning championships.
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At 6’2″ and 320 pounds, Malcom Brown is an absolute mountain of a defender and an absolute force up the middle. Brown is on pace to demolish former Longhorn DT Casey Hampton’s record setting 1999-2000 campaign. Brown leads the Longhorns in tackles for loss (9), is tied for the team lead in sacks (3.5), and is third in tackles (33). He ranks tied for sixth in the Big 12 and tied for 47th in the FBS in sacks per game (0.70) and is one of just four Longhorns to record at least 3.5 sacks in the first three games of a season since 2001 (4, Eddie Jones – 2010; 4, Brian Orakpo – 2008; 3.5, Maurice Gordon, 2001). Bottom line is, Malcom Brown is possibly the best defensive tackle in college football, so next season, with a healthy Geno Atkins and a rotation that could include Brown, the Bengals would get the push they need to stop the run.
Look for the Bengals to start out up front on defense. The NFL draft is full of teams looking for the next Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck, but a real run stuffer like Malcom Brown could go unnoticed until the Bengals are ready to pounce. Face it, the Bengals defensive line is only getting older with Peko, who’ll turn 30 next month, and thinner with an unhealthy Brandon Thompson who has yet to play much in 2014. The nice thing this week is Bengals fans don’t have to search hard to find Texas on television Saturday as the Longhorns play Oklahoma in what is known as the Red River Rivalry from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. The game will be live on ABC at 12pm ET.