BYU's Braden Brown runs the 40 faster than the projected no. 1 overall pick

While everyone is closely watching Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah at the NFL Draft Combine, there is another BYU player in Indianapolis who is standing out, especially when compared head-to-head with Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel.

Many experts project Joeckel to be the first player taken in the NFL Draft at the end of April. Joeckel has been evaluated by the NFL as "an impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter)."

BYU's offensive tackle Braden Brown isn't considered such a valuable commodity to the NFL. The scouting report on Brown rates him as "a prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential."

Brown is not in the high range of this category, while Joeckel is in the high range of his category. After the combine, that might be changing. Brown's test results are very comparable to Joeckel's. In fact, Brown was a full one-tenth of a second faster than Joeckel in the forty-yard dash.

The table below lists each player's combine test results side-by-side.

  Brown  Joeckel
40 5.20 5.30
Bench 26 27
Vertical 28.0 28.5
Broad Jump 100.0 106.0
3 Cone Drill 7.43 7.40
20-yard shuttle 4.7 4.68

Brown was in the top 20 for all offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 3-cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle. His best test was the 3-cone drill where he finished with the fifth fastest time and received a star on the NFL's website as a top performer.

Brown's 51.0 grade from the NFL fits in the 4th-7th round draft pick range, but just barely (50.0-69). One would think that these combine results, especially when juxtaposed with Joeckel's, would improve Brown's draft stock.

In October, some NFL draft analysts considered Brown a top 90 draft pick, which would be in the first three rounds. That, obviously, contradicts the grade he has received from the NFL. This contradiction immediately conjures up memories of BYU offensive tackle Matt Reynolds who saw his draft stock fall so far he had to settle on a free agent contract. At the NFL Draft Combine last year, Reynolds ran a 5.37 second 40-yard dash and had 25 reps on the bench press.

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