After three seasons with the Penn State Nittany Lions, safety Ji’Ayir Brown will look to provide his defensive prowess to one of 32 franchises as he prepares to hear his name called at the 2023 NFL Draft.
Brown amassed 153 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, nine pass deflections, and 10 interceptions during his collegiate career at Penn State, and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2022, garnering third-team All-Big Ten Conference accolades with a team-high 74 tackles. In a 35-21 Penn State win over Utah in the 2022 Rose Bowl, Brown was named the Defensive MVP with eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and an interception.
Ji’Ayir Brown: Scouting Report
Brown is listed at 5’11” and 203 lbs with a 31 1/4” wingspan, and while he’s a bit undersized for a safety, he does possess solid athleticism. The Penn State product ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the combine with a 32.5” vertical, and while he may not be matching opposing receivers over the top with speed, he’s a forceful run defender that would work well in defensive packages that stack the box.
Like many prospects coming into the draft, he’ll need to tighten up the mistakes and be a little more disciplined as he faces NFL competition, otherwise, veteran quarterbacks will make easy work when playing against him. He doesn’t necessarily project as a day-one starter, but could very well develop into an average starter down the line.
Mock Draft landing spots
Brown should go in a middle round. ESPN’s Matt Miller has him going to the San Francisco 49ers in a late third-round pick, CBS’ Ryan Palmer has the Washington Commanders taking him late in the third round, and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has him dropping to the fourth round and getting drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. NFL.com’s Chad Reuters sees him going to the Chargers in the third.