Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the second annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 280 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2020 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). New features for this year include unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, and—for the first time ever—the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points

Continuing our position-by-position preview of this year’s draft class, we shift our focus to defensive tackles. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).

Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect. The final defensive tackle scale is as follows:

9.0 – 7.0High-end 3 down starter. Pro Bowl level.
6.9 – 6.7Strong starter who plays on all 3 downs.
6.6 – 6.5Lower-end starter. 2 down player or plus pass rusher.
6.2Versatile backup with positional flexibility.
6.1 – 6.0Developmental. Top traits but needs time.
5.9Top backup. 3 down, 1 position player.
5.8Role playing backup. Base or 3rd down role.
5.7Low-end backup.

Derrick Brown: DT Rank 1 of 18 | Final Grade: 7.0

Report by Jordan Edwards

One Liner 

Brown is a disruptive interior force with very good power, athleticism, and body control for his size.


Brown lines up primarily as a 3-tech for the Auburn Tigers’ nickel defense, but he has versatility from guard to guard and even has a few snaps outside the tackles. He has played in 53 career games and is a three-year starter. He has a wide and strong upper body and he is very light on his feet for his size. He has good reactive athleticism, with fast hands and impressive agility. A team captain and consensus All-American, Brown is a tough player who rises to the occasion against top competition. However, his motor can be inconsistent at times.

Run Game 

Disruptive is the operative word to describe Brown in the run game. He may not make the tackle on every play, but his impact at the point of attack is very good. His hand usage and hand placement are consistent and his ability to drive offensive linemen off their mark flashes dominance. He has a quick first step and his short-area agility is exceptional for someone his size. His vision and ability to process blocking schemes is sufficient, as he struggles to feel blocks at times. He didn’t have much trouble in college, but Brown needs to get off his blocks quicker at the next level with technique. He has a tendency to raise his pad level rather than sink and get off blocks when the ball is moving away from him. He has good gap discipline, and is rarely driven off his spot against the run due to his anchor ability and strong lower half. He has good tackling production and his body control allows him to adjust and make difficult tackles in congestion.

Pass Game 

Brown gets off the ball quickly and generates pressure at a high rate as a 3- and 1-tech versus the pass. He consistently walks linemen into the backfield, collapsing the pocket. He has quick hand usage and usually has a pass-rush plan. He frequently uses swim moves and bull rushes in his rush. He lacks a varied repertoire and often doesn’t use a counter move after his first is neutralized. He frequently encounters double teams as a pass rusher, especially when bumped further inside. He stays on his feet well and explodes at contact with powerful hands. His FBI as a pass rusher is better than it is against the run, as he plays with a more one-track approach in passing situations. He will get his hands up into passing lanes if his rush isn’t successful.

Last Word 

At the next level, Brown projects to be an elite one-gapping defensive tackle best utilized in a four-man front. He is at his best over guards in passing situations where he can dominate free of double teams to collapse the pocket, but he can also work shaded over a center and even offer some looks out wider. He can certainly be used as a two-gapper to anchor, but his upfield disruption is his best trait and should be emphasized.

Play strengthRun scheme diagnosis
Upfield disruptionPass-rush repertoire
Agility and body control

Critical Factors

1st Step Explosion6
Play Strength7
Pass Rush6

Positional Factors

Shed Ability6
Hand Use7
Body Control7


TacklingPass Rush


YearBroken TacklesBT%Tackle ShareATD+Pressure ShareHolds DrawnEPA on TFLEPA on Sacks

Deep Dive

Lined UpPass RushWhen Run AtTotal Points
YearNT%DT%DE%Pressure%Sack%Bounce%Pos%Run DefPass RushTotal