Player Profile #74 – CB Curtis Brown

Over the last decade, there has been an abundance of defensive backs coming out of the University of Texas. The Longhorns always have a lot of talent that makes its way to pro football through the NFL Draft at all positions.

But since 2002, they’ve had nine defensive backs selected, all in the fifth round or better and five in the first round.

Curtis Brown may get a chance to join them. He’s one of three Texas secondary players who figure to be selected no later than the second round. For the last four Longhorns season, Brown has been a fixture on the field, not only for the defense, but on special teams.

Here’s his story.

FAMILY MATTERS

Curtis Jamaal Brown

Born – August 24, 1988 in Longview, Texas.

Family – He was raised by his paternal grandmother, who has cared for him since he was six weeks old. His mother was never part of his life. His father is Aundray Taylor, who played one season of college football at Oklahoma State. Uncle Hosea Taylor was a DE for Baltimore Colts in 1981-83 after playing his college ball in Houston. Curtis has a daughter Alayah, born in October 2009.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 5-feet, 11½ inches.
  • Weight – 185 pounds.
  • Arm – 32¼ inches.
  • Hand – 9½ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.51 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.55 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.52 seconds
  • Bench press – 10 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 39½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 8 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Brown graduated with the class of 2007 from Gilmer High School in Gilmer, Texas, a small town in northeast Texas (population – 5,000). It’s the only high school in the Gilmer Independent School District.

The Buckeyes program has been very good under head coach Jeff Taylor, winning a pair of state championships at the 3-A level. As a junior he was named the District 15 3A most valuable player.

Brown played WR/CB for three seasons. He was two-time all-state selection and played in ’07 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He established school record for career catches (119) and receiving yardage (2,183 yards.)

Brown also ran track, turning in a personal best of 10.6 seconds in the 100 meters while also competing in the long jump.

FOOTBALL

2006 – As a senior, Brown helped Gilmer to a 10-1 record. He caught 40 passes for 970 yards and 14 TDs. He added 16 carries for 168 yards and a TD. On defense, he had 15 tackles.

2005 – Brown was a big contributor in his junior season when Gilmer went 10-2. He had 63 catches for 974 yards and 10 TDs. He added 47 carries for 750 yards and 8 TDs. On defense, he provided 15 tackles and 5 PBUs on defense.

2004 – The Buckeyes were 16-0 and 3A state champions with Brown starting as a sophomore CB. He had three tackles and 3 PBUs in the title game. Over the rest of the season, he had 46 tackles, with 18 PBU and 5 INTs on defense. Brown added 16 catches for 239 yards and TD, and 15 carries for 104 yards and a TD.

RECRUITING

It came down to Texas and Oklahoma in the recruiting battle for Brown. Georgia, LSU and Miami tried to get involved as well, but he got offers only from the Longhorns and Sooners. He picked Texas in February 2007.

COLLEGE

Brown majored in youth and communication studies. He enrolled at Texas in January ’07 after early graduation from Gilmer H.S.

Playing for Mack Brown in the Longhorns program, Brown appeared in 52 games with 28 starts; he was a full-time starter at CB in 2009-10. He finished his career with 120 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 INTs, 32 PBU, 1 forced fumble and 35 special teams tackles. He played on every special teams for four years except the FG and PAT protection units.

He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference honors in ’09 and a second team position in ’10.

2010 – Brown played in 12 games, with 10 starts at CB. He had 23 tackles and one INT that he returned 74 yards. He returned 13 punts for 194 yards, a 14.9-yard average return.

2009 – Started 14 games in the Texas secondary, Brown had 47 tackles and an INT he returned 77 yards for a TD. He also had a blocked punt and 15 tackles in the kicking game.

2008 – He played in all 13 games, with four starts over the last six games. Brown had 25 tackles, with 9 more tackles on special teams.

2007 – Brown appeared in all 13 games. He finished with 13 tackles, and led the Longhorns with nine special teams tackles.

 YEAR

 

G

 

S

Tot.

Tkl.

 

TFL

 

INT

 

PBU

Spec.

Tkl.

2010

12

10

26

1

1

6

2

2009

14

14

53

2

1

15

15

2008

13

4

27

0

0

9

9

2007

13

0

14

0

0

1

9

Totals

52

28

120

3

2

31

35

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Very athletic, with good speed, excellent quickness and top-notch leaping ability, Brown can play any type of coverage scheme. He’s aggressive and a willing participant of using his body on the field. He’s very good at covering the receiver in man-to-man with great reflexes and quickness and can mirror closely the actions of the receiver. He’s durable, playing 52 games in four seasons against some high-class receivers and passing games like Missouri, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Brown is an experienced player on special teams, who worked on every unit save PAT and FG protection.

Weaknesses – The tape shows Brown to have good ball skills, but he had just two interceptions over his career. He’s a peeker, who lies to check out the QB and frequently loses close contact with his receiver. Only his great recovery speed makes it work for him. He doesn’t do a good job of wrapping up on tackles and really isn’t a big hitter. He tends to try to tackle some receivers around the shoulders, and has been thrown off by stronger opponents. As a punt returner, Brown sometimes gets the yips and has trouble cleanly fielding the ball.

Analysis – A very strong performances at the Senior Bowl and then the NFL Combine allowed Brown to shake off the effects of a very bad ’10 season by the Longhorns. Brown’s ability to cover man-to-man, with his height and his speed will make him a popular consideration early in the ’11 Draft. He’s relied on his very abundant physical talent and needs a lot of hard work on fundamentals. If he does that work, he’ll play for a long time, especially with his special teams experience.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

An NFC scout said – “A talented guy that needs a lot of work on his fundamentals. Put this guy with a good secondary coach and he could be a Pro Bowl type of guy. At the minimum, he’ll give you some good stuff on special teams.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

“I’m comfortable as a man corner, but I’m also comfortable in Cover-3s and Cover-2s, but man is what I like to do.”

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT HIM

Texas coach Mack Brown – “The one thing the high school coaches told us when we took him is that he’s got a good heart. He’s going to try and do everything right, and he’s done that. And I’m really, really proud of him.”

Gilmer High School coach Jeff Traylor – “Curtis has always wanted to play defense. He never wanted to play offense. I had to make him play offense. He’s crazy because his highlight video (on offense) is as good as anybody in the country. Coach (Mack) Brown knows it, everybody at Texas knows it. Curtis was dead-set on being a cornerback. He thinks he can play in the National Football League for 10 or 12 years at corner. And he’s probably going to prove that he’s right and we’re wrong.

More Traylor on Brown – “He can stop and start up at full speed quicker than any kid I’ve ever seen before. He’s a freak. He really is.”

Even more Traylor on Brown’s personality – “He doesn’t speak very often but when he does, everybody listens. He’s just very quiet, to himself, takes care of his own business. He used to not smile very much. I told Coach Brown when he went there, that was my goal for them to get him to smile and talk. He’s a much better speaker now.”

And even more from Traylor on Brown’s background – “He overcame a lot at a young age. He’s just unbelievably gifted, talent-wise. His quickness, his strength, his coordination, plus he is an amazingly competitive kid. He’s a man’s man, very loyal, very honest. He’s a guy you can’t help but like.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

If the Chiefs had cornerback high on their need list then I would think Curtis Brown would receive plenty of consideration from Pioli/Haley. This guy has played more than 50 games in one of the best conference in the country and against some of the better offensive teams any defensive back would see, like Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. His impressive career on special teams would be very attractive item as well. Figure him to be gone by the time the Chiefs really found a spot to consider him.

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