This year, teams have two undersized stars to choose from in Rutgers' Khaseem Greene and Brown, who disappointed in his first stop in college but has since coming home has developed into an All-American and LOTT Impact Trophy finalist.
Originally signing with Miami (Fla.) out of high school, Brown was one of the highest recruited players in 2008 and chose the Hurricanes over offers from just about every other program in the country. Brown struggled to crack the starting lineup in his two seasons in South Beach, finishing his Hurricane career with only 17 tackles. Never quite fitting in at Miami, he moved back to his home state of Kansas, transferring to Kansas State.
After sitting out the 2010 season due to transfer rules, Brown had a stand-out junior campaign at middle linebacker in his first season with the Wildcats, totaling a team-best 101 tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and one interception. His breakout performance earned him the Big 12's Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
For as reliant as the Wildcats were on Heisman finalist Collin Klein on the offensive side of the ball during a run to the Fiesta Bowl in 2012, the team was every bit as dependent upon Brown on the defensive side. The surprisingly stout playmaker posted an eerily similar season in 2012 as he had his first season in Manhattan, recording 100 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions and a sack despite being the focus of every offense.
Brown's lack of ideal size could push him into the draft's second frame. If so, he, like David and countless others before him, could prove to be a "big" steal.
Weaknesses: Obvious size concerns, though he plays much bigger than he looks. Tendency to take on blocks with alternating shoulders, putting him in excellent position to slip off and make tackles but also could be jeopardizing the long-term health of his body, especially considering his relative lack of size in the first place. Stands out on tape for his size, physicality and open-field tackling, but hasn't proven to be much of a playmaker over his career, posting "just" three interceptions and not a single forced fumble over his collegiate career. Struggles while at Miami open up concerns about how well he'll handle the jump to an NFL team further from home.
COMPARES TO: Curtis Lofton, ILB, New Orleans Saints -- Like Lofton, Brown plays bigger than he looks and will quickly prove himself to be a vacuum tackler in the NFL. To emerge as one of the elite at their position, however, each has to show a greater ability to cause turnovers.