The LA Rams are known to be fans of players who standout at the Senior Bowl and Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning was one such example this year. Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy described Browning as having possibly “the highest ceiling” of any outside linebacker in the draft this year and his measurables seem to also match the expecations.
Could make a strong case @OhioStateFB Baron Browning (6031v, 241v, 33 arm, 81 wing) is highest ceiling OLB in 2021 draft. Potential do-it-all ‘backer stood out as edge-setter, rusher, & dropper at @seniorbowl. NFL teams see him as Day 1 starting SAM. #TheDraftStartsInMobile pic.twitter.com/rd46mDwjbz— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 20, 2021
The Rams would probably need to use their second round pick to secure Browning, which would mean holding off on needs at center and other positions for at least another round. But linebacker could justifiably be called one of LA’s greatest needs as well, especially if they can find someone with the athleticism and IQ to be a dominant presence in the middle of the field.
Could Browning be such a player?
The Athletic recently cited Browning’s impressive pro day numbers:
Browning’s still learning the finer points of the game, as was the case throughout his time at Ohio State. Athletically, though, he has everything necessary for a modern NFL linebacker. At minimum, Browning (6-2, 245) has the explosion to be an effective NFL pass rusher soon-ish. He registered a 40-inch vertical with a 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump and a 4.56-second 40-yard dash. And an elite 6.78 three-cone time.
Frankly, all of those numbers are elite. Elite speed, burst and explosion. His reads weren’t always the cleanest as a college linebacker but he can be a playmaker as he learns.
Some have mocked Browning to the Rams at pick 57, though much will depend on how the draft board falls and whether or not Snead decides to make a trade. Either up or down. We profiled Browning and some other linebackers recently at TST and it’s interesting that even as of March 1, Kentucky’s Jamin Davis was not on a lot of radars. (Davis is now seen as a borderline first round pick, which again highlights that there seems to be an exceptionally wide range of draft projections in 2021.)
Browning’s sideline-to-sideline speed and ability to play all three linebacker positions in college have been highlighted as his strengths, whereas some of his decision-making and awareness could need improvement.
His most productive college season came in 2019, registering 43 tackles, 11 for a loss, and five sacks in 11 games.
Would you approve of a Baron Browning selection at 57?
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