With our third round selection in the SB Nation Mock Draft, Blitz and I decided to select University of Texas cornerback Tarrell Brown.
Brown's a tremendously gifted athlete who ran a 4.3 on his timing day in Austin this March, but has slipped down some draft boards because of two off-field incidents this past year. That's not something to simply overlook, but in this case, I happen to know a lot about Brown in general, and these incidents in particular.
As SBN's Texas Longhorns blogger, I follow the happenings in Austin very closely, and even have quite a few sources connected to the program. Here's the scoop:
Brown was suspended for the Ohio State game this past September after he and another member of the Longhorns were arrested for marijuana possession late one evening. As it turns out, Brown was mostly a victim of "wrong place, wrong time," and though that doesn't make what happened any less stupid, it's not quite the black eye that you see attached to other athletes in trouble. Brown had another incident this past March - just one day after his pro timing day - which was nearly identical to the last one. In both cases, charges were not filed against Brown, though he's clearly guilty of bad judgment.
The bottom line, though, is that everyone I know connected to the UT program was shocked that Brown ever got in trouble once, let alone twice. They all swear up and down on his character, and expect his problems to be behind him. Everyone that I know who knows Tarrell Brown absolutely adores him as an upstanding young man.
He's been interviewing extremely well with NFL teams, so I don't think you're going to see him slip past the third round during the real draft. And we couldn't let him slip any farther in the SBN Mock Draft, either. I've heard NFL scouts who like him better than fellow Longhorn cornerback Aaron Ross, who's being selected in the first round in virtually every mock draft you see.
If those of us who support Tarrell Brown's character are right, nabbing Brown with the #77 pick is quite the bargain. He'd be a terrific addition to the Steeler secondary.