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Notes: NFL analysts disagree on the value of Auburn DT Derrick Brown

What exactly is Derrick Brown’s value in today’s NFL?

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In Tuesday’s notes we highlighted an SB Nation article arguing Auburn DT Derrick Brown was worthy of a top-five pick.

Former NFL defensive lineman Stephen White broke down the tape of Brown’s game and came away extremely impressed with his motor and his strength. In fact, he went as far as saying that Brown is already his front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Yes, even ahead of Chase Young.

“Barring injury, I think we will see greatness from Brown sooner than later after he makes the transition to the NFL,” White wrote. “I’d bet him against the field for Defensive Rookie of the Year, right now, today. That’s just how much potential I see in him as a prospect.”

Now, hear from the other side. PFF’s Eric Eager has a very different outlook on Brown’s value in today’s NFL. Eager argues that “his lack of upside as a pass-rusher will significantly limit his ceiling,” and that “the selection of Brown with one of the coveted top picks is likely one that a team will regret.”

The Detroit Lions are at the crux of this debate. They are a team that values run stuffing more than most, and there is no disagreement in Brown’s ability to do that at an elite level. But will Detroit’s need for an interior pass rusher cause them to pass on Brown with the third overall pick, or do they believe he’s a better pass rusher than Eager suggests?

We’ll have to wait until April to see.

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