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Raiders rookie scouting report: Fadol Brown is really smart with intriguing size, upside to go with it

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Fadol Brown was tripped up by injuries, but otherwise has all the intangibles and potential you look for in a prospect.

Brown’s numbers out of high school were astounding. He had some 35.0 tackles for loss and 15.0 sacks earning him South Carolina Class AA lineman of the year. He took his talents to Florida International to play for head coach Mario Cristobal. Following his freshman season, Cristobal was fired so Brown left the program.

He was highly sought after and opted for Ole Miss, which meant he would have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

One thing where Brown excelled in college was academics. He was a regular on the school’s honor roll. Brown made Dean’s Honor Roll for Fall 2014, Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, and U.M.A.A. Honor Roll for Fall 2013. He was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2014 and 2015.

Last season, he was playing as a graduate student, having completed his Bachelors degree in general studies in December of 2015. One of the things rookies often talk about when coming to the NFL is the relief they feel not having to be split between football and their college studies. Brown got a taste of that his senior season, which is probably why he was able to put up his best numbers to close out his college career.

When his football days are done, he has aspirations of becoming a chiropractor.

Measurables

Height: 6-4

Weight: 282

Arm: 35”

40-yd dash: 4.94

Vertical: 34.0

Broad: 9’7”

3-cone: 7.24

Statistics (Mississippi)

2016 – 8 gms, 4 starts, 39 tkls, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sks

2015 – 10 gms, 8 starts, 32 tkls, 4.5 TFL, 1.0 sks

2014 – 12 gms, 9 starts, 38 tkls, 5.5 TFL, 0.5 sks

Awards

2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll

2015 J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award

2014 SEC Academic Honor Roll

High School Class AA Lineman of the Year, Region 6A Defensive Player of the Year

Strengths

He has ideal size and length for an NFL defensive end. And clearly, based on his academics, he has a good head on his shoulders as well. Finishing his studies early and with honor roll recognition shows an impressive work ethic.

He is a fantastic run stopper. Of his 38 combined tackles last season, 34 of them came against the run including 20 stops to just 2 missed tackles. Those run stop percentage numbers put him second in the nation among edge defenders with at least 120 run snaps (he had 174 last season) according to Pro Football Focus figures.

While his numbers overall are not great, he did see career highs across the board despite career lows in games played (8) and starts (4). His play really picked up at the end of his final season as well. His four starts as a senior came in his final four games – two weeks removed from returning from his foot injury. In those four games he was on a tear, racking up 28 of his 39 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

It showed what he could do when healthy. Coaches want to see that kind of progress, which often suggest that player’s best football is ahead of him.

Weaknesses

Injuries have been his biggest issue. First a stress fracture as a junior that kept him from staying on the field full time. Two foot surgeries cost him 4 games as a senior, appearing in 8 games and starting 4.

He doesn’t offer much in the way of a pass rush. In 122 pass rush snaps last season, he managed 2.5 sacks, 1 QB hit, and 9 hurries for a total of 12 pressures.

With his transfer season, he’s already 24 years of age. He should be playing better at the college level than many other less physically mature players.

What he brings to the Raiders

His combine measurements have him at 273 pounds, while the Raiders now list him at 282 pounds. That weight gain signals the Raiders’ plans for him. His skillset lends itself perfectly to play a similar defensive end role which Mario Edwards Jr and Denico Autry now play for the Raiders.

Autry himself came to the Raiders as an undrafted free agent and worked himself into a starter following a season on the practice squad. That interior defensive lineman spot is somewhat thin for the Raiders at the moment. Most importantly they need pass rush, which Brown has shown he at least has the ability to provide, though sparingly.