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The Quite Storm
He had a 4.0 grade-point average in high school, 3.4 at Penn State. He finished 17 in the intelligence test at the combine, out of the top 100 rated players! Was All-State in football and basketball, the South Carolina Player of the Year in football and the top-rated linebacker in the country by SuperPrep. Began taking courses at Penn State in summer school after he graduated from high school and was able to play in every game as a freshman without sacrificing anything academically. Ended his first season with 17 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Started 10 games in '97 despite dislocating his left thumb in Game Three and having to play with a cast.
Had 33 tackles, including 15 for loss, and six sacks. Was an All-Big Ten defensive end and a Pro Football Weekly and Gannett News Service All-American in '98, when PFW rated him the top junior or senior defensive lineman in the country. Finished that season with 47 tackles, including 23 for loss, 11 sacks and four passes broken up. Added seven stops, four tackles for loss and two sacks vs. Kentucky and QB Tim Couch in the Outback Bow.l
Brown more than lived up to expectations in '99, when he was a unanimous All-American, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Penn State's MVP. As a senior, Brown had 55 stops, 29 tackles for loss, 13 1/2 sacks and a key interception he returned for a score vs. Purdue. Also was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten pick while taking a difficult engineering curriculum. Positives: Has above-average size and good size potential. Looks almost skinny at 270 pounds. Has very long arms; a big, 86-inch wingspan; and great intangibles. Competes hard and prepares to win. A top athlete with tremendous explosion off the ball and balance. More refined than most college players. Has great hand use and snatches and jerks like a top pro. Has tremendous coordination for someone his size. Works his hands and feet and does everything together. Hustles and pursues. Still moves like a linebacker. Is always working to improve when he is on the practice field. Mature beyond his years.
Summary: Courtney is a prototypical defensive end who has a good frame and possesses athletic ability. He is a solid pass rusher who should become a dominate player as he gets stronger especially against the run. Courtney should continue to get better and better as he gains experience. His potential due to his outstanding physical and athletic skills should make him a dominating player for the next 10-15 years. And should greatly increase the Browns pass rush and pass defense.
      
Played running back, cornerback and wide receiver and returned both punts and kickoffs as a true freshman in 1996. Ended up carrying five times for eight yards, catching eight passes for 75 yards and one TD, returning four punts for 32 yards and bringing back one kickoff for 23 yards. Picked off two passes on defense and returned one 63 yards for a score. Starting wide receiver in '97, when he caught 58-767-9, carried 6-105 and one TD and returned 10 kickoffs for 235 yards. Caught 63-922-6, returned 38 punts for 437 yards and brought back 11 kickoffs for 219 yards in '98. Team's leading receiver in '99, when he also played some cornerback and covered USC's R. Jay Soward. Ended the year catching 88-1,422-8, rushing 14-200-1, returning 23 punts for 436 yards and two TDs and making three solo tackles. Won All-Pacific-10 honors and made some All-America teams.
Positives: Good competitor. Big heart. Seems to like to play the game. Natural football player with an excellent feel for the game. Very elusive runner with very good, quick feet who makes tacklers miss. Rarely gets hit cleanly. Has been durable. Shows a quick, explosive burst of speed. Catches and adjusts to the ball well. Will catch coming across the middle. Has NFL-caliber ability as a punt returner. Might also be able to help out at cornerback in a pinch. Was a dominating player and big-play guy in college.
Negatives: Small with a slight build. More quick than fast. May struggle vs. the bump-and-run if lined up on the line of scrimmage as opposed to in the slot or in motion. (In both cases, he would have a better chance of avoiding the jam.)
Summary: An exceptional athlete and football player who lacks size but has been very durable, versatile and productive throughout his career. A playmaker.
      
Redshirted in 1995. Part-time player in '96, when he carried 123 times for 601 yards and 12 touchdowns and had one catch for seven yards. Tied for sixth in the nation in rushing in '97, when he carried 296-1,549-25 and caught 23 passes for 138 yards. Finished second in the nation in rushing in '98, when he carried 365-1,787-19 and caught 11-107. Was named the winner of the Vern Smith Award as the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. Was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate in '99, when he carried 354-1,667-17 and caught 19-270 and four touchdowns. Rushed 41 times for 376 yards vs. Akron.
Positives: Good size, speed and strength. Very hard worker. Could not catch a cold when he came to college and now is a decent receiver who will catch the easier throws when he does not have to do much adjusting. Non-fumbler. Strong and powerful runner with good speed in the open field. Can run inside with authority and has the speed to get outside and break some long runs. Was extremely durable and productive throughout his college career.
Negatives: Gets into trouble when he gets too fancy and does not run hard and hit the hole hard. Is not very elusive. Does not have great make-you-miss moves or cutting ability. Has been clocked as fast as 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash but does not have sudden, explosive speed. Average blocker. Has improved pass catching a lot but will never be a natural catcher. Has trouble catching balls thrown outside the frame of his body when he must adjust to the ball.
Summary: As long as he runs north-south — and hard — he is a good, solid back. But I don't know if he can be a special difference maker.
Redshirted in 1995. Played in all 11 games as a backup in '96 and caught 18 passes for 211 yards and one TD. Caught 52-839-10 in seven-plus games in '97 before breaking his ankle early in Game Eight. Came back to catch 68-947-12 in '98 and 96-1,051-7 in '99. Capped off career by being named MVP in the Gridiron Classic after catching 3-106-1, including the game-winning touchdown.
Positives: Good size. Athletic. Controls body well. Good ability to adjust to the ball. Natural receiver with soft hands. Can make the acrobatic and circus catches. Very effective vs. zone coverage. Made three very impressive plays in the 2000 Gridiron Classic.
Negatives: Is not a burner. May have trouble beating tight man-on-man coverage. Had a hard time getting off bumps at times in college.
Summary: A pure receiver who can play if he can beat the bump consistently.
      
A fourth-year junior who opted to leave with his class. Saw limited action in 1996, getting in on six stops. Started 10 games at free safety in '97 and had 74 tackles, four interceptions and 19 kickoff returns for 460 yards with a TD. Missed the entire '98 season with nerve damage in his shoulder that had to be surgically repaired. Came back in '99 to play cornerback and had 56 tackles, 14 passes broken up and six interceptions. Also returned kickoffs 18-482-1. Worked out at the Combine but was not completely healthy.
Positives: A fine all-around athlete who is versatile and can play anywhere in the secondary. Generally covered the opposition's best receiver in '99. Has the desired size for cornerback, good range and above-average man-on-man coverage skills. Has excellent ball skills. Plays the ball very well. Will work on his game and study films of the receivers he will be guarding.
Negatives: Not that consistent. Needs additional work in coverage. May not be quite as quick and sudden as scouts would like a cornerback to be. Lacks good CB hips.
Summary: A bigger cornerback with enough cover skills to play that position and with starting potential at safety. With really good workouts, Sanders could move into the Chad Scott class of prospects. Was not entirely healthy at the Combine and had a slightly disappointing workout. The two most impressive things about Sanders as a corner are his size and ball skills.
Redshirted as a fullback in 1995. Moved to tight end for the next two years, starting one game and appearing in 12 games in each season. Went back to fullback and generally started when the team ran out of two-back sets the past two years. Caught five passes for 46 yards and one touchdown in '96, 9-85-0 in '97, 16-154-1 in '98 and 31-239-3 in '99. Also carried 16 times for 73 yards in '98 and 11-31 in '99.
Positives: Great size. Very good hands and pass-catching skills. Versatile. OK running ability. Improving blocker. Can play fullback, tight end or H-back. Had an impressive Senior Bowl week.
Negatives: Has had shoulder problems and at times blocks as though his shoulder is still bothering him. Is not a crushing blocker. Runs more upright than scouts would like a fullback to run.
Summary: Versatile player who could make it as a fullback, tight end or H-back. Really helped himself at the Senior Bowl.
      
1999 SEASON Started all year at left cornerback, finishing with a team-high 11 pass deflections, an interception, a quarterback pressure and 42 tackles (31 solos). Arizona State...Opened the season with a pair of pass break-ups. Louisiana-Lafayette...Followed with a 4-tackle effort. Oklahoma State...Registered a season-high 8 tackles (6 solos). Colorado...Deflected 2 passes and made 7 hits (4 solos). Baylor...Came up with 3 pass deflections and a 3-yard interception return. Iowa State and Texas...Posted 5 tackles with a pass break-up in both games. Oklahoma...Closed out his career with 4 tackles (3 solos) and a pressure.
Late bloomer with a confident attitude & good tackling form…Stays tight with the receivers in the short area & has that quick recovery burst to be very effective on deep routes…Has good ball anticipation skills, coming up hard to stuff the running game…Possesses large, soft hands for the interception...Began his collegiate career as a running back.
PERSONAL Communications major...Son of Patsy Malbrough...Half-brother, Jerry Ball, is a standout nose guard for the Minnesota Vikings after earning All-American honors at Southern Methodist...Born 12/9/76 in Beaumont, Texas.
Played quarterback and defensive back in high school and also earned four basketball and three track letters. Redshirted at Kansas State in 1995. Saw extensive action at cornerback and free safety in '96. Started the past three years at free safety and earned some All-Big 12 honors all three years. Had 39 tackles, one interception and seven passes broken up in '96; 54-0-1 in '97; 67-1-3 in '98; and 68-5-11 in '99. Also returned 10 punts for 138 yards in '97, 5-78 in '98 and 10-61 in '99. Played free safety but often had the cover responsibilities of a cornerback.
Positives: A good athlete with good hands. Played more man-on-man coverage as a safety than many corners play. Has long arms and can backpedal and turn like a corner. Would be a very good cover safety and could play corner. Also has experience returning punts.
Negatives: Lacks the body build for a safety. Is not built well enough to be much of a factor against the run. Does not have the pure speed or catch-up speed scouts want in a cornerback.
Summary: A CB-FS tweener who could make it as an extra defensive back who plays in nickel and dime coverage schemes.
      
High-school honor student at a well-respected, academically oriented private school in Houston. Went to Minnesota under Jim Wacker and redshirted in 1995. Was in for nine plays in '96. Left Minnesota after the '97 season. Came to Southwest Texas State in '98 and won the starting job. Completed 173 of 284 passes for 1,851 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions and was named Southland Conference Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Struggled as a senior with a weaker team around him when he hit on 161-323-1,646-14-13.
Positives: Excellent size. Very smart. Leader. Adequate arm strength and 40-yard dash time.
Negatives: Lacks quick feet and a quick arm. As a result, plays much slower than his numbers would indicate and is much more prone to sacks than you'd like. Somewhat inconsistent throwing. Needs time and both feet planted to throw with accuracy and some zip. Has a tendency to lock on to his primary receiver.
Summary: Might have a chance to make a team as a third-string quarterback.
Transfer from Mt. San Antonio Junior College. Played in two games in 1997 and started one before redshirting with a neck injury. Started 10-of-11 games in '98. All-conference guard in '99 and was named an All-American by the Football Writers of America.
Positives: Good toughness and competitiveness. Above-average size and speed. Shows some ability to pull and adjust. Can pass block pretty effectively when he lines up inside as a guard and is blocking in close quarters. Has improved every year and looks more athletic than he looked a year ago.
Negatives: Not especially nimble. Does not have the feet to move outside and play tackle. Is not a great natural athlete.
Summary: With continued improvement will have a good chance to play in the NFL and may even become a starter if he keeps improving.
      
Grew up in Samoa and attended high school in Samoa. Played at San Francisco City College before coming to Arizona in 1998. Started at right tackle the past two years, but projects inside to guard on the next level. Turned 25 years old in February of 2000. Is married and has three children. Started every game in '98. Had reconstructive surgery on his right knee after the '98 season. Came back to start in '99 but was not 100 percent and did not seem to trust his knee.
Positives: Started to play like he played in '98 late in the '99 season, when he started to gain confidence in his knee. Showed adequate strength, feet, balance and that he could block for both the run and pass when he was at his healthiest. Should improve as he gets further away from his knee surgery and gains experience.
Negatives: Older and shorter than you would like. Had a major knee operation. Was a disappointing player for much of the '99 season. Is a projection inside to guard. Lacks experience and an extensive football background and needs reps.
Summary: Will have a chance as a guard if he is healthy. Did some good work in '98 and late in '99.
Has been a starter or a part-time starter for the past three years. Had 26 tackles, including seven for loss, and three sacks in 1997; 37-7-4 in '98; and 42-14-11 last year.
Positives: Has good size and speed and may even get a little bigger. Has improved each year. Looks the part. Shows some quickness and some ability to get off the line and chase. Shows flashes of ability as a pass rusher. Can get wide. Shows some ability to turn in toward the quarterback.
Negatives: Is not a strong or physical player because he plays way too upright and too stiff. Has a tendency to stop his feet instead of keeping them moving. Does not bend his knees and get low the way he must in order to be a factor against the run. Relies too much on finesse. Has a hard time protecting his legs from chop blocks.
Summary: Must learn to play much lower with better leverage and rely more on power and tenacity than technique. Is not quick and nifty enough to be a finesse rusher and can't hold the point of attack unless he gets lower and starts using his lower-body strength more.
Played in nine games as a true freshman in '96 and had five tackles. Got his first start and first interception in '97, when he also had 28 tackles and two sacks. Was leading the team in tackles in '98 before he suffered a concussion. Came back the next week and tore his posterior cruciate ligament. Wound up missing almost half the season. Finished the season with 45 tackles, three passes broken up and one interception. Started in '99 and had 108 tackles, three sacks and a pick.
Positives: Tough and aggressive. A good hitter and an above-average tackler. Generally plays the run well. Can backpedal and turn OK for a safety. Shows a little cover ability.
Negatives: Is not a top cover man. Does not go back on the ball that well. Is just an average ball athlete. A better hitter than tackler who misses too many tackles. Seems to lose his concentration and focus at times.
Summary: Will need to improve his consistency and concentration. Has some ability but does not always play up to it.
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