A three-star LB recruit, Brown originally committed to hometown Cincinnati, but with Brian Kelly taking the Notre Dame gig, he changed his mind on signing day and enrolled at Louisville.
After spending his true freshman season as a reserve, he became a starter in 2011 and set career-bests as a junior in 2012 with a team-best 109 tackles. Brown again led the Cardinals in tackles as a senior, recording career-highs 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.
He is a magnet to the ball in the run game and is a forceful tackler who loves to attack downhill with violent intentions. Brown doesn't look as comfortable in reverse and his hiccups in pass defense might keep him from being an every-down NFL LB. He has motor needed for the next level and is at his best downhill, diagnosing, sifting and fighting to the ball - impact run defender in a 4-3 or 3-4.
STRENGTHS: Looks the part with a well-built frame, long arms and big hands...quick first step and won't play hesitant with consistent play speed - drives in a flash downhill...physical mentality and strikes through his target with balance and aggression - strong hands to finish...quickly finds the ball and tracks well, showing the reaction awareness to avoid false steps and take accurate angles...good head on his shoulders and processes well, displaying a coachable attitude with the ability to adapt...motivated and well-respected in the locker room...productive resume as a three-year starter (36 career starts) and one of the select few in this draft class with 300+ career tackles, earning Second Team All-Conference honors as a junior and senior.
WEAKNESSES: Not a twitchy player and will struggle to redirect his momentum after a false step...struggles to flip his hips and shadow in zone coverage - doesn't look as natural playing in reverse with poor anticipation in pass defense...will overpursue at times, especially at the sideline, and commit himself too early to run lanes...inconsistent blitzing techniques and needs to improve his discipline and snap reaction at the LOS...needs to use his hands more consistently to stack and shed and get to the ballcarrier...will play too high and needs to show better leverage when taking on blocks.
05/13/2014 - 2014 NFL DRAFT BEST VALUE PICK: BUFFALO BILLS: Round 3/73 -- Preston Brown, LB, 6-1, 251, Louisville...Brown should be able to come in and become the primary backup at middle linebacker behind Brandon Spikes. The Bills really don't have a true middle linebacker on the team other than Spikes, so Brown will get plenty of reps in training camp at the position. However, he also played some outside linebacker in college, and he can be a useful member of the special teams, so the Bills likely will get some mileage out of Brown in his rookie season. His production was certainly high at Louisville, as he made 301 tackles, all but 10 of those in his final three years. - The Sports Xchange