The home stretch is finally in sight as the -- say it with me -- May draft is days away. And in the final countdown before everybody is really on the clock, it’s time to take a one-a-day look at some specific players who could find their way somewhere into the Denver Broncos draft class by the time the seven rounds come to a close.
Today: Louisville linebacker Preston Brown.
So, what can Brown do for the Broncos? Well, Brown, who weighed in at 251 pounds at the scouting combine, would potentially fill a spot on the depth chart at middle linebacker.
He would also be the second member of his family to come to training camp with the team. Brown’s father, Mike, was invited to the Broncos’ camp in 1985 as an undrafted rookie linebacker out of Ball State.
“Right now, he just wants me to get a chance to play somewhere, to get that opportunity,’’ Brown said. “But I think he would enjoy part of that, if the Broncos picked me and brought me out there.’’
The Broncos were one of the teams Brown visited in recent weeks and in a class that is a little thin on bigger linebackers, Brown has shown himself to be one of the better tacklers on the board.
He squares up blockers, sheds and gets to the ball. In the Cardinals’ blitz-happy 3-4 look, Brown played middle linebacker for his senior season and some as a junior. He also played in one of the outside spots as a sophomore.
"I think I could produce wherever somebody wants to play me, but I think most teams see me as an inside guy who can help stop the run and I think there is a demand for that," Brown said. "You still have got to run the ball to win games. I think Seattle winning the Super Bowl may help defensive guys in this draft. The fact that if you can’t run the ball, can’t move the ball, you can’t win the game. So guys who help you stop people may get that look.’’
Brown ran a 4.79 40-yard dash at his pro day. He played in 52 games in his career and finished this past season with 98 tackles, including 12.5 for loss. He chose to stay home, in the Cincinnati area, to train with his father rather than move to some sun-splashed complex with a pile of other draft hopefuls.
“He’s trained me since I was 5, 6 years old. I’m not going to change that. It works for me,’’ Brown said.
And the highlight of the draft season thus far?
“My mom was riding in the car and heard Mel Kiper talk about me on the radio,’’ Brown said. “She was excited, she called me right away … I think she’ll be pretty excited if we hear my name, get that call next week. I just want to enjoy it and get ready to give somebody my best.’’