KSU's Brown has strong skills at weakside LB
The Bears need an infusion of youth at linebacker and, more specifically, they need to start planning for the day when seven-time Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Lance Briggs reaches the stage where Brian Urlacher is now.
Kansas State's Arthur Brown could be the ideal successor to the 32-year-old Briggs, and he has already visited Halas Hall.
There are a lot of similarities among the two. Brown is expected to be drafted in the second or third round; Briggs was an early third-round pick (68th overall) in 2003 out of Arizona. The Bears' second-round pick this year is the 50th overall, but they are without a third-round pick due to the trade for Brandon Marshall.
Brown measured 6-foot-0 and 245 pounds at the NFL's Scouting Combine. Briggs was 6-foot-0 and 242 pounds at the 2003 combine. Both players are tackling machines, and Brown projects naturally to the weakside in a 4-3 defense, such as the Bears play.
"Pursuing to the ball is a key element to my game and any defensive game," Brown said at the combine. "That's something I strive to always consistently do, (play) aggressively downhill, always making plays in the open field."
That sounds a lot like the way Briggs has played while making more than 100 tackles in each of the last nine seasons. Brown had 100 tackles last season when he was a consensus all-American, and he had 101 the year before, when he was the Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year.
Brown began his college career at the University of Miami, but transferred to K-State after playing sparingly his first two seasons.
The former five-star recruit and USA Today and Parade high school all-American has NFL bloodlines. His brother, Bryce Brown, younger by 11 months, was a rookie running back for the Eagles last season after being drafted in the seventh round.
"I was proud of my brother and seeing him be successful," Arthur said. "The odds were against him, but he continued to push forward."
Though Arthur Brown had just 3 career interceptions, he was the first player to pick off Robert Griffin III in 2011, and the first to pick Geno Smith in 2012. Griffin threw just 6 interceptions that season and Smith was picked only 6 times last season.
"There's no secret," Brown said. "Be at the right place at the right time."
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NFL draft: Top 10 linebackersName, school Ht. Wt. 40
Dion Jordan, Oregon 6-6.2 248 4.60 Wreaks havoc all over the field with Aldon Smith qualities.
Barkevious Mingo, LSU 6-4.2 241 4.58 Inherent athletic gifts; will get better with more bulk.
Jarvis Jones, Georgia 6-2.3 245 4.65 44 TFLs, 28 sacks last two seasons; neck injury a concern.
Alec Ogletree, Georgia 6-2.4 242 4.69 Gifted athlete would go Top 10 sans character concerns.
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame 6-1.2 241 4.74 Instincts, production easily overshadow slow 40-times.
Kevin Reddick, North Carolina 6-1.3 243 4.72 Tough inside thumper has ability to lead a defense.
Arthur Brown, Kansas State 6-0.3 241 4.66 Tad undersized but great fit in Cover-2 defense.
Kevin Minter, LSU 5-11.6 246 4.81 Won't test well but always shows up big on tape.
Cornelius Washington, Georgia 6-4 265 4.56 College DE has elite power, strength, explosion.
Sio Moore, Connecticut 6-0.6 245 4.66 Workout warrior a disruptive force behind line of scrimmage.
Number after decimal point under "Ht." refers to eighths of an inch.