2017 NFL Draft

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Cody Brown

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 244 | College: Connecticut
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The three-year starter at right defensive end, Brown's blitzing skills and range dropping back in pass coverage could see him shift to outside linebacker in the National Football League. Huskies coach Randy Edsall felt Brown responded remarkably to his tough love approach, emerging as one of the elite pass rushers in the collegiate game.

As a senior, Brown discovered what consistency can do. "He's played very, very well," Edsall said. "He's played up to the level of my expectations now."

It is rare for Edsall to say one of his Huskies is playing up to expectations. In the past, he has only said such things about the likes of linebacker Alfred Fincher and quarterback Dan Orlovsky. Part of that is simple coaching philosophy, a desire to ride the best players to get the best out of them. Brown produced his best season in 2008, so Edsall could drop some plaudits on him. It would almost be impossible not to do so. His coach also noted that Brown has dominated like no defensive player in recent memory. He did it the way rush end Uyi Osunde did it back in Edsall's early days with the UConn program.

As a testimony to his coach's praise and faith in him, the team's Defensive Most Valuable Player in 2008 guided a unit that had a great turnaround from the previous season. The Huskies finished Brown's final campaign ranked sixth in the nation in total offense, allowing just 278.0 yards per game compared to 351.38 yards in 2007 (ranked 37th in the NCAA). His stellar performance in the trenches resulted in the front wall giving up only 109.77 yards per game rushing (second in the Big East/16th in the NCAA), compared to its 62nd national ranking in 2007 (157.38 ypg).

Brown served as team captain during his senior year at Coral Springs High School. He was named first-team All-Broward County and All-State honorable mention, adding Miami Herald Sweet Sixteen recognition. He helped the team to the district playoffs, recording 88 tackles with nine sacks in 2004. He was selected to play in the BCAA All-Star Classic and the Dade-Broward All-Star Game. In addition to football, he earned two letters in basketball, picking up All-Broward County honors.

Brown enrolled at Connecticut as a 215-pound defensive end in 2005. He appeared in the team's first 10 games, playing behind senior Shawn Mayne on the left side, where he earned one starting assignment vs. Cincinnati. He finished his first season with 20 tackles (10 solos) that included one sack and five stops for loss.

Brown emerged from 2006 fall camp as the Huskies' starting right defensive end, but in the sixth game he broke a bone in his arm vs. Army, missing the second half of the season. The 233-pound defender managed to register 24 tackles (8 solos), as he led the team with 4.5 sacks and also made 7.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

During his rehabilitation from his arm injury, Brown added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame, returning to start all 13 games at right end in 2007. He led the team with 16.5 stops for loss, the sixth-best season total in school history. He also paced the Huskies with 7.5 sacks and collected 50 tackles (35 solos) with three pass deflections.

Brown continued his progression to the elite ranks in college football as a senior. The unanimous All-Big East Conference first-team pick was named the team's Defensive Most Valuable Player. He led the team with a career-high 11 sacks and matched his 2007 figures with 16.5 tackles for loss, both good for second place on the conference chart. He also delivered 56 tackles (33 solos) and tied for eighth in the NCAA with a school single-season record-tying five forced fumbles. His eight pass deflection were the second-highest total of any defensive end in the major college circuit.


Positives: Excellent athlete. Uses his hands to rip off blocks from much bigger tackles. Very good off the edge. Able to get into the chest of his man to bull rush him into the quarterback. Will close on quarterbacks quickly and secure the tackle. Plays on the strong and weak sides, as well as a stand-up rusher at times. Shows potential to be an effective 3-4 rush linebacker. Should be an asset on special teams coverage units. Recognizes misdirection quickly. Helped himself with a strong performance throughout Senior Bowl week.

Negatives: Lacks great bulk to hold up as an every-down end, and will likely switch to 3-4 rush linebacker in the pros. Can get moved out of the hole. A bit high and choppy in his backpedal, but he can get deep on zone blitzes. Needs to hustle and chase a bit more when plays are downfield or down the line. Quarterbacks and ballcarriers can sidestep him as he closes because he doesn't break down quickly enough to make the tackle.

Compares To: KAMERION WIMBLEY, Cleveland -- Brown is an undersized defensive end who will need some time to adjust to playing linebacker. He might bring quicker value as a situational rush end, as he is not really fluid in his pass drops and might struggle in pass coverage. He is more of a drag-down tackler than a wrap-up type working in space, causing some of the slippery runners to escape. However, he is a solid hitter vs. plays in front of him and shows enough spin in his lateral movements to make plays outside the box. He has good acceleration working down the line and does a good job of colliding with the ball carrier on contact. When he gets too high in his stance, he tends to pick a side rather than squaring up, making him an easy target to block.

Scouting Report


Body Structure: Brown is undersized for a down lineman, but has very good strength, along with a frame that can carry more bulk. He has an athletic physique with good upper body muscle definition, firm midsection and tight waist and hips. He has the long wingspan and reach to keep blockers at bay and the large, strong hands to generate a solid punch. He has adequate lower body development, along with minimal body fat (8.6 percent).

Athletic Ability: Brown is an undersized defensive end with surprising power taking on bigger blockers. He is a better fit for linebacker, due to size issues, but it is also a perfect position for the way he plays, as he operates better on the move. He is comfortable making plays in pursuit vs. the run (held the opposition to 76 yards on 36 rushing attempts directed at him), and coming off the edge he generates good heat to pressure the pocket. He has good quickness and keeps his feet on the move, showing the agility and balance in his running stride. He has adequate change of direction agility and flexibility, along with good acceleration to close. He has loose hips and runs faster than his timed speed. He has good upper body strength and leg drive. He looks a little stiff in space, but has a good closing burst. GRADE: 7.0

Football Sense: Brown is a low-rep type that takes plays from the board to the field well. He makes line adjustments and is quick to recognize blocking schemes. He shows good urgency closing on the ball and while he has some hip stiffness, he still manages to move laterally to the flow of the ball. He picks things up quickly from the chalkboard to the playing field and even though he has not played the position, he seems to be instinctive enough to handle the mental aspect of playing linebacker. GRADE: 6.4

Character: Brown is a quiet, respectful sort from a supportive family. He is a good program player who takes pride in his leadership role. He has no known off-field issues. GRADE: 6.3

Competitiveness: Brown is described by the coaching staff a tough player who has faced a lot of mismatches (blockers generally weighed 50-plus pounds more than him), but plays far above his size. He has a good motor in pursuit and loves to compete. He shows that fire in the belly attitude on the field, plays until the whistle and there are no problems trying to motivate him. He will play with pain and while he had some early career durability issues, he has been relatively healthy since recovering from his 2006 broken arm. GRADE: 6.6

Work Habits: Brown emerged as a team leader last season. He worked very hard to come back from his arm injury and really took to the weight room, evident by the power he's shown taking on bigger blockers. He is a mature leader, self-starter, compliant and will do the little extras to prepare. He is well respected by the staff and they can't say enough good things about him. He does everything that is asked and more and is the type of guy that will have a smile on his face until he steps on the field. GRADE: 6.4


Key and Diagnostic Skills: Brown is an instinctive player with a great feel for slipping through tight areas to generate the pass rush. He is a good read-&-react type with the instincts and vision to find the ball. He is alert to misdirection and won't be suckered in by play-action fakes. He shows a quick break and urgency to negate the cutback lanes when pinching the outside running game back in. He is alert to blocking schemes and moves suddenly to avoid. He might overrun a few plays, but is quick to recover. He can diagnose the run or pass and has no problems reading and reacting to plays on the edge. GRADE: 7.4

Playing Strength and Explosion: Brown has a strong hand punch, but despite solid weight room numbers he does get engulfed working in-line and needs to be in motion to be effective, as he is not going to win physical battles vs. the offensive linemen. He just struggles and gets bounced around too much at the Xs. He lacks the bulk and lower body strength to split double teams and hold ground at the point of attack, but plays much better on the move, where he can use his hand punch to reroute the tight ends. Playing off the line, he shows good stack and shed ability. He is strong with his hands, especially when working on the edge, using a powerful club move and arm-over action to get past blocks. He can be even better when he uses his natural leverage. When he plays high, he will get tied up trying to disengage, failing to stay on his feet working near the pile. His size issue as a down lineman comes into play when he fails to protect his body working in trash, as he can be washed out of the play by double teams when he leaves his body too exposed. GRADE: 5.6

Lateral Pursuit/Range: Brown has some hip stiffness, but still manages to flow with the ball. His stiffness only becomes evident when he has to turn out of his breaks on short-area pass coverage or when having to redirect suddenly. He has good playing speed to make plays in pursuit. He might overrun a play or two due to some stiffness in his change of direction, but is quick to recover. He shows good urgency getting to the ball and uses his active hands to prevent getting tied up working through trash. The thing you notice on film is that he shows good speed with proper pursuit angles while chasing. GRADE: 6.3

Use of Hands: Brown's broken arm in 2006 was actually a blessing in disguise. In rehab, he developed the strength needed to shock and jolt even the biggest offensive linemen. He has good power behind his punch with his initial strike. He has a good array of pass rush moves (rip, swim, club) and uses his hands to play off blocks and stack. He still could use a little refinement shooting his hands, but he shows strength behind his strikes. He has the wingspan and extension to redirect tight ends off their routes. He is not a natural hands catcher for the interception, but has the leaping ability and times his jumps to do a great job of batting the ball down at the line of scrimmage. GRADE: 6.9

Tackling Ability: Brown sometimes gets caught up in the battle in the trenches and fails to locate the ball carrier on time. He will shut down some when his moves fail to get him a release from the block. He has enough quickness to deliver explosive hits on the quarterback, but is susceptible to side blocks, where he is often ridden wide. He can be fooled by double teams and try to shoot the inside gap, only to get stonewalled. When he stays low in his pads and drives forward with his legs, he can push the fullback back through the rush lanes. He hits with a thud and can jar the ball loose on contact. He is more of a drag-down tackler than a wrap-up one, which could see the slippery backs escape. However, he has the upper body strength to bring the runner down once he latches on. This area of his game is going to be a work in progress. GRADE: 5.6

Run Defense: Brown shows no hesitation working in-line in attempts to clog the rush lanes, but is susceptible to low blocks, despite having the long wingspan to protect his legs. As a rush end, he was more productive vs. the inside ruin when he avoided blocks rather than trying to take on the bigger blockers. He can make plays on the move and shows the burst to close and make plays taking on the fullback. He is quick to read the inside run and step up to take on the offensive lineman or lead back, but lacks the bulk to consistently stack. He has shown improvement staying lower in his pads, as when he got too high in his stance in the past he did not square up when taking on blocks. He shows good pursuit quickness to the outside and is able to run and work through and around trash. He has the chase speed and takes proper angles to cut off the runner on the outside. He has the balance to keep containment and string plays out, but there are times it looks like he is operating in cruise control. He also needs to be more alert to side blocks, as he can get latched on to and washed out of the play, especially when his hands get outside his frame. GRADE: 7.2

Pass Defense: When Brown keeps his hands active, he has the quickness and punch to surprise the offensive lineman. He has adequate change of direction quickness vs. double moves and you can see the hip stiffness when he tries to move in reverse. He needs to do a better job of turning and opening his hips when changing direction. He can cover most tight ends and backs in the short area, but when he plays high, his slight change of direction stiffness shows. He is adequate in man coverage, but tends to get up on his heels in his backpedal. In the short area, he can stay on the hip of the receiver, but needs to show a better burst to recover from gathering coming out of transition (more of a trailer type outside the box). He does keep his head on a swivel while sinking, but only gets adequate depth in his pass drops due to being on his heels and standing too high in his backpedal. GRADE: 5.7

Zone Defense: While Brown has the ability to drop in the zone and get in position, you just don't see him make many plays on the ball there. When he stays low in his pads during his pass drops, he can be an effective zone player. He is best when his drops are inside and in the short area. He has the speed to cover ground when the pass is thrown and shows decent range, but needs to be quicker in his reads and not so tight in his turn. GRADE: 5.4

Pass Rush and Blitz: Brown needs to be on the move to be effective, as he gets engulfed at the point of attack and appears frustrated when his moves fail working in a phone booth. He has a good feel for rushing off the edge and has the upfield burst, doing a good job of dipping his shoulder to bend the corner. He needs to avoid offensive linemen to be effective, as he will not be able to escape if the bigger blocker gets on him. He is better blitzing off the edge, but can be very effective running stunts because of his quickness, if he can find the clear lane. He has the speed to rush off the edge and has a few moves along the way to avoid blocks (arm-under and over-action). He is just not a solid bull rusher, even when he stays low in his pads. GRADE: 6.3

Compares To: KAMERION WIMBLEY, Cleveland -- Brown is an undersized defensive end who will need some time to adjust to playing linebacker. He might bring quicker value as a situational rush end, as he is not really fluid in his pass drops and might struggle in pass coverage. He is more of a drag-down tackler than a wrap-up type working in space, causing some of the slippery runners to escape. However, he is a solid hitter vs. plays in front of him and shows enough spin in his lateral movements to make plays outside the box. He has good acceleration working down the line and does a good job of colliding with the ball carrier on contact. When he gets too high in his stance, he tends to pick a side rather than squaring up, making him an easy target to block.


--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Brown started 33 of 42 games during his Connecticut career, including 32 at right defensive end and one other contest on the left side … Recorded 150 tackles (86 solos) with 24.0 sacks for minus 151 yards and 45.5 stops for losses totaling 196 yards … Caused six fumbles and recovered two others … Blocked a punt and deflected 13 passes … His 45.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage rank third in school history behind Uyi Osunde (49.0, 1999-2003) and Maurice Lloyd (47.5, 2001-04) … His 24.0 sacks tied Gary Stills of West Virginia (1996-98) and Mike Mamula of Boston College (1993-94) for 11th on the Big East Conference career record list and placed him second in school history, topped by Mark Michaels (27.0, 1982-85) … Brown's five forced fumbles in 2008 tied the school single-season record that was first set by Alfred Fincher in 2004 and rank sixth on the Big East's annual record books, surpassed by Elvis Dumervil of Louisville (10 in 2005), Dwight Freeney of Syracuse (8 in 2001), Claude Harriott of Pittsburgh (7 in 2002), Grant Wiley of West Virginia (7 in 2003) and Diamond Ferri of Syracuse (6 in 2004) … Brown's 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in the 2007 and '08 campaigns rank sixth on the school single-season record list … His 11 sacks as a senior are topped by Michaels (13.0 in 1984) and Steve Beal (13.0 in 1978) on the Huskies' annual record chart … Became the first true freshman to start on Connecticut's offensive or defensive line since the program was elevated to FBS.

2008 Season

All-American third-team selection by The NFL Draft Report … Unanimous All-Big East Conference first-team choice … Named the team's Defensive Most Valuable Player … Started all thirteen games at right defensive end, recording a career-high 56 tackles (33 solos) …

Led the team and ranked second in the conference with eleven sacks for minus 62 yards, the third-best season total in school history … Paced the Huskies and finished second in the league with 16.5 tackles for losses totaling 72 yards, tying his 2007 mark for sixth place on the school annual record books … Tied the school season record and ranked tied for eighth nationally with five forced fumbles … Blocked a punt and recovered one fumble, as he also deflected eight passes … Helped the team rank sixth in the nation and lead the Big East in total defense, allowing only 278.0 yards per game.

2008 Game Analysis

Hofstra … Brown killed a pair of drives with third-down tackles, finishing with five stops that included 1.5 sacks for minus 11 yards in the season opener … He took down QB Cory Christopher for a 9-yard loss on a third-&-5 snap to begin the second quarter, bringing out the Hofstra punting unit … His other sack came later in that quarter, leveling Christopher for a 6-yard loss on a third-&-goal play … Talking about the team's defensive performance, Brown stated, "I think we did alright; I think we can do better. Everybody can always improve but as a group I think that we did okay. It was good to get a win but as a team we see what we have to work on. We have practice Saturday and we look forward getting back to work." … Head to Head Competition: OT#71-Brian Frederick (6:04-264).

Temple … Brown registered four tackles (2 solos), including providing a bone-jarring shot that leveled Joe Jones for no gain on a rushing attempt with 0:40 left in the first half … Head to Head Competition: OT#73-Devin Tyler (6:07-298).

Virginia … Facing one of the elite blockers in the college game, Brown had just three tackles, but one was a 9-yard sack of QB Marc Verica on a second-&-goal snap to start the second quarter … Head to Head Competition: OT#75-Eugene Monroe (6:05-317).

Baylor … Brown produced another three tackles, including one that stopped halfback Jacoby Jones at the line of scrimmage on a first quarter run … Head to Head Competition: OT#72-Jason Smith (6:05-309).

Louisville … The right defensive end, having faced two of the top offensive tackles in the game the last two weeks, again matched up against an imposing blocker, but still managed to deliver six solo tackles with two stops for loss, including a 9-yard sack of QB Hunter Cantwell at the start of the second quarter, causing a fumble that Louisville recovered at their own 46 … Head to Head Competition: OT#68-George Bussey (6:04-306).

North Carolina … The defensive captain produced four tackles with a pair of third-down hits … He also sacked QB Cameron Sexton for a 4-yard loss on a third-&-goal snap, causing a fumble that UNC recovered at the Connecticut 14 midway through the first quarter … Head to Head Competition: OT#72-Kyle Jolly (6:06-300).

Rutgers … Brown excelled on defense and special teams, delivering nine tackles (5 solos) with a sack and 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as three of his hits came on third-down plays … He brought out the Rutgers punt unit early in the first quarter after sacking QB Mike Teel for a 5-yard loss on third-&-3 … He killed a fourth quarter scoring drive by deflecting Teel's third-&-3 pass at the UConn 47 and recovered a punt that he blocked to end that series … Head to Head Competition: OT#75-Anthony Davis (6:06-327).

Cincinnati … Brown followed with just three solo tackles, but he caused a fumble on a 3-yard sack of QB Tony Pike midway through the opening frame … He also recovered a fumble on a punt return by DeAngelo Smith that gave the Huskies the ball at their own 44 early in the second quarter … Head to Head Competition: OT#71-Jeff Linkenbach (6:06-313).

Syracuse … The right defensive end wreaked havoc in the backfield, as he came up with three stops for loss, including two sacks among his four tackles, as three of those hits came on third-down snaps … QB Andrew Robinson was leveled by Brown on a third-&-7 sack for minus 2 yards, bringing out the Orange punt team late in the first quarter … He upended Cam Dantley on a second-&-goal bootleg for a yard loss and then sacked Dantley on third-&-4 for minus one yard with 1:53 left in the second quarter … Two third quarter passes by Dantley were knocked down by Brown, including one on a third-&-3 toss with 2:06 left in that stanza … Head to Head Competition: OT#77-Tucker Baumbach (6:05-307).

Pittsburgh … Brown posted three tackles with 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as he tied the school season-record with his fifth fumble caused in 2008 … He took down fullback Condredge Collins for a 3-yard loss, causing a fumble that Connecticut recovered late in the second quarter … With 3:11 remaining in the third frame, he helped stop tailback LeSean McCoy for a 2-yard loss on a third-&-3 rushing attempt … Head to Head Competition: OT#77-Jason Pinkston (6:04-300)

Buffalo (Music City Bowl) … Brown closed out his career with six tackles that included a 2-yard sack and 1.5 stops for loss … He dragged down tailback James Starks for a 2-yard loss on the game's first series and midway through the first quarter, Buffalo was forced to punt after the defensive end stopped Starks for no gain on a third-&-4 snap … With 7:00 left in the first half, he also sacked QB Drew Willy for a 2-yard loss on a third-&-5 call … Head to Head Competition: OT#70-Ray Norell (6:06-306).

2007 Season

Brown started all thirteen games at right defensive end, picking up second-team All-Big East Conference honors from The NFL Draft Report … Recorded 50 tackles (35 solos), as he led the team with 7.5 sacks for minus 42 yards and 16.5 stops for losses totaling 60 yards … Deflected three passes and recovered one fumble.

2007 Game Analysis

Earned a game ball after making six tackles with two sacks for minus 13 yards vs. Duke in the season opener … Followed with just three tackles, but two were behind the line of scrimmage vs. Maine … Had two more stops for loss and five solo hits in the Temple game … Registered a 7-yard sack and five more tackles vs. Pittsburgh and had a 5-yard sack and four hits (3 solos) in the South Florida clash … Produced four solo tackles and a 3-yard sack vs. Cincinnati and delivered seven tackles with two stops for losses of 5 yards in the season finale vs. West Virginia … Recorded three solo tackles, all behind the line of scrimmage, including an 8-yard sack of QB Riley Skinner vs. Wake Forest in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

2006 Season

Started each of the first six games at right defensive end before breaking his arm vs. Army, missing the Huskies final six contests … Recorded 24 tackles (8 solos) with 7.5 stops for losses of 47 yards … Still managed to lead the team with 4.5 sacks for minus 39 yards.

2006 Game Analysis

Given the game ball after Brown totaled six tackles and 1.5 sacks for minus 8 yards vs. Rhode Island in the season opener … Assisted on a 5-yard sack and posted three tackles vs. Wake Forest … Had five tackles, a 6-yard sack and two stops for losses of 10 yards vs. Indiana … Registered a pair of sacks for minus 20 yards and five tackles (4 solos) in the Navy contest.

2005 Season

Played in ten games behind Shawn Mayne at left defensive end, starting vs. Cincinnati … Recorded 20 tackles (10 solos) with five stops for losses of 17 yards, including an 8-yard sack, as he also deflected two passes and caused one fumble … Became the first true freshman to start a game on either the offensive or defensive lines during UConn's Division I-A era.

2005 Game Analysis

Assisted on two tackles, one of them for a loss vs. Rutgers … Had a season-high six tackles at Cincinnati, including one for a loss and a pass break-up, as he started in place of Dan Davis … Made two stops, one of them behind the line of scrimmage vs. Syracuse … Made four tackles, including 1.5 for loss and a sack, while also forcing a fumble vs. Liberty.

Injury Report

2005: Sat out the season finale vs. Louisville (undisclosed injury).

2006: Suffered a broken arm vs. Army (10/14), missing the final six games.

Agility Tests

4.76 in the 40-yard dash … 1.62 10-yard dash … 2.79 20-yard dash … 4.40 20-yard shuttle … 7.10 three-cone drill … 36.5-inch vertical jump … 10'0" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 26 times … 34 1/2-inch arm length … 10 1/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Coral Spring (Fla.) High School, serving as team captain during his senior year …

Named first-team All-Broward County and All-State honorable mention, adding Miami Herald Sweet Sixteen recognition … Helped the team to the district playoffs, recording 88 tackles with nine sacks in 2004 … Selected to play in the BCAA All-Star Classic and the Dade-Broward All-Star Game … Earned two letters in basket-ball, picking up All-Broward County honors.


Sociology major … Born Cody Dion Brown on 11/09/86 … Resides in Coral Springs, Florida.


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