Sep 27, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive tackle Malcom Brown (90) warms up before the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium. Texas won the game 23-0. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
The New England Patriots had a solid draft with moves to increase the talent level on both the offensive and defensive line and as the Patriots are a mere four weeks from training camp starting, it is time to look at the potential impact the newest players from the draft can have on the team. How much playing time the rookies will receive this year is yet to be determined but all eyes will be on the group in training camp. With that, here is a look at who will be the immediate impact the New England Patriots rookies will have in 2015.
Round 1, pick 32: Malcom Brown, DT:
The New England Patriots got started off on the right foot with the selection of the titanic Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown. Most “draft experts” had him going much earlier in the first round as he has skills to be a defensive player capable of being effective as both a pass rusher and a run stuffer. Last season New England drafted defensive tackle Dominique Easley in the first round to be their penetrating inside pass rusher (although his knee injury slowed his production in 2014). This season, top pick Brown can be a complementary defensive tackle to line up next to Easley for at least the next half decade.
Brown is not going to be a space-eating nose tackle like Wilfork was in New England but rather a very effective run stopper. However, Brown is an every down player capable of creating havoc in the backfield on running plays and collapsing the pocket. Although the pass rush skill will be a work in progress, Brown has a quick first step and very good athleticism for someone his size. He is young and his game was sometimes inconsistent at Texas, but he plays with a high motor and effort.
Brown should be able to come in right away and contribute. With the pass rushing Dominique Easley next to him the Patriots should be getting a burst of pass rush from the middle of the defensive line. Brown, Easley, Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones and veteran Alan Branch are the 2015 core of the New England defensive line and all five players will get plenty of playing time throughout the season to keep them fresh. All five have pass rushing ability although Siliga and Branch are likely to get the call as the more traditional early down run-stuffers. The Patriots would like to split the duties so each defensive lineman get 450 to 650 snaps during the season and everyone stays fresh and healthy. Brown will be expected to be a plug-and-play tackle and carry part of the load starting in week one.
Next: Round Two