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2016 NFL Draft: Jatavis Brown prospect profile

Niners Nation's Jake Narayan takes a closer look at underrated Akron OLB Jatavis Brown.

Akron outside linebacker Jatavis Brown stepped on campus as a freshman in 2012, and saw action in 11 games, including one start. He started all 12 games and was named first-team All-MAC as a sophomore, tallying 107 tackles (second-ever sophomore to record at least 100 tackles). As a junior, Brown garnered 99 tackles (14.5 for loss), four sacks and three forced fumbles while being named to the first-team All-MAC once more. Brown then put his first three years at Akron to shame with an exceedingly impressive senior campaign. He totaled a whopping 116 tackles (20 for loss), 12 sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles while starting all 13 games at WILL linebacker.

The Basics

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 222 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.47 seconds

How He Compares To Other Linebackers

Leonard Floyd (6'6", 244 lbs.) 4.60 40 yard dash
Darron Lee (6'1", 232 lbs.) 4.47 40 yard dash
Joe Schobert (6'1", 244 lbs.) 4.79 40 yard dash
Su'a Cravens (6'1", 226 lbs.) 4.62 40 yard dash

The Rundown


  • Speed immediately stands out as his biggest strength - sideline-to-sideline player who can close the gap incredibly fast

  • Looks natural when asked to drop in space

  • Can rush the passer up the middle or off of the edge (12 sacks in 2015)

  • Plays with incredible heart and intensity - one of the most aggressive players to watch on tape

  • A reliable tackler even with a small frame

  • Anything but afraid to stick his nose in the play and deliver rendering hit


  • Struggles to stack-and-shed bigger opposition

  • Needs to refine his tackling mechanics - often too high

  • Brown will likely be asked to play a lot of safety at the next level, so improving his pass coverage would be a huge plus.


At first glance you may wonder if he's built to play linebacker at the next level, but if you put on the tape your doubts will be negated. Brown is all over the field, utilizing his speed to chase down action and contribute to the play. Brown has the versatility to play as a box-safety, edge rusher, or even a WILL linebacker in a 4-3 defense. In an interview last year Brown was asked the following: "One of the most important things once you get to the NFL is versatility - do you feel comfortable dropping in space and playing on special teams?" He replied by stating, "I am versatile. I can do it all, honestly. Not to sound cocky, but I can be a run stopper, rush the passer, run with receivers down the field. I love special teams - they want me focusing on defense so they don't let me play special teams this year." That's what I love most about Brown - his flexibility. With NFL defenses evolving, you need a rangy player who can do it all for your team.