The Ole Miss Rebels have a strong contingent of 2022 NFL Draft prospects, with Ben Brown one of two offensive linemen who could hear their name called in Las Vegas. The Ole Miss guard-turned-center will be one of the most experienced players in the class. Furthermore, he’s the latest in a long list of Browns who have had success for the Rebels. However, does his scouting report hold more weight than just experience and heritage as he attempts to secure a place in the NFL?
Ben Brown NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Guard/Center
- School: Ole Miss
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 315 pounds
Ben Brown Scouting Report
Brown heads into the upcoming college football season with 34 starts on his résumé. As a result, he’ll be one of the most experienced offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL Draft class. In addition to his experience, the Ole Miss offensive lineman has made 24 starts at right guard and 10 at center. With the expectation that he’ll play at the pivot again this season, Brown will carry a similar experience level at each position when he enters the NFL Draft. A former high school offensive tackle on both sides, his versatility will prove valuable at the next level.
At 6’5″ and 315 pounds, Brown has impressive size at both center and guard positions. He has put on 25 pounds since leaving high school but doesn’t appear to carry any bad weight. The assumption is that he has been able to add muscle weight, as he seems to possess a strong upper body. The Ole Miss offensive lineman is often seen using his strength to impose his will at the line of scrimmage and in the open field.
Brown plays the game with competitive toughness, routinely looking to punish his opposition through to the whistle. He explodes with aggression as soon as the ball is snapped, helping to pave the way for the Rebels’ ground game.
The Ole Miss offensive lineman also routinely demonstrates football intelligence. He reads the play pre-snap and is responsible for making adjustments. Moreover, he is adept at picking up and passing off defensive linemen as required, always looking for work.
Areas for improvement
Although Brown uses his upper body strength and solid grip to move people around, his hands lack a violent punch. There were limited examples on tape of him shocking defensive linemen with his initial strike.
If he is to consistently win the battle in the trenches at the next level, Brown needs to play with a better pad level. He regularly plays too high, putting him at a disadvantage in the battle to gain leverage.
Finally, Brown needs to work on his timing. The timing of his punch can be late. Although his athletic ability is impressive, sometimes the timing of his blocks at the second level means that his angles aren’t optimal for ensuring running lanes are as open as they should be.
Ben Brown’s Player Profile
The NFL’s moniker of “Football is Family” may not be more evident than in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Allen Brown was an All-American for Ole Miss in 1964 before winning two Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers. His son, Tim Brown, was an offensive lineman for the Rebels in the ’80s. With multiple family members also associated with Ole Miss dating back to the ’50s, it was fate that Ben would grow up to play the family game.
It became apparent very early that he’d be able to play it at a high level, too. In keeping with the family ties to Ole Miss, Brown attended a summer camp with the Rebels before his junior season. With impressive performances there and during the 2015 season, the three-star, 17th-ranked player in Mississippi received offers from multiple college programs, including Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Louisiana.
However, there was really ever going to be one offer that mattered, and in February 2016, Brown committed to Ole Miss. “To have the opportunity to play for such a great SEC school where I’ve had my family play before, there’s no words that I use to describe this feeling,” he told the Clarion-Ledger at the time of his commitment.
With his college future secured, Brown flashed in his senior season. Playing both offensive tackle and defensive tackle, he helped lead St. Aloysius to 2,596 rushing yards at 7.2 yards per carry while logging 37 tackles and a sack. He earned first-team All-State honors from the Clarion-Ledger and was also named second-team Max Preps Small School All-American.
Brown’s career at Ole Miss
Although he’d spent his high school career playing left tackle, Brown knew it was highly likely that he’d have to switch inside for Ole Miss. As he transitioned both physically and mentally to a new position and adapted to the increased speed and physicality of the college football game, he redshirted his freshman season in 2017.
Brown’s path to being one of the most experienced offensive linemen in the 2022 NFL Draft began in 2018. He started the season opener at Texas Tech at right guard and locked down the position for the rest of his redshirt-freshman season. However, it wasn’t just a case of holding down the spot. Brown was instrumental in the offensive line’s success, leading the team with 10 knockdown blocks.
Furthermore, the Ole Miss OG helped the offense rack up a staggering 826 total yards against Louisiana-Monroe. In addition to being the most yards by an offense in the 2018 season, the dominating yardage was the second-most by any SEC team ever. For his role in achieving the 30th-best offense in the nation, Brown was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Brown demonstrates his versatility while gaining invaluable experience
Although 2019 wasn’t a banner year for the Rebels following a significant offensive regression, Brown continued to be one of the bright points. Adding another 12 starts to his résumé, he racked up 765 snaps at guard. Additionally, he displayed his versatility with 99 snaps at center for Ole Miss.
Despite ranking 82nd in the nation for scoring offense, Brown’s ability in the ground game helped the Rebels post their most rushing yards (447) since 1962 in a walkover win against New Mexico State. Moreover, he was credited with allowing zero sacks in 11 of his 12 games in 2019.
Brown was asked to transition full-time to center with uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and opt-outs on the offensive line. As the Ole Miss offense flourished behind new head coach Lane Kiffin, so did their new center. Starting all 10 games as the anchor of the offensive line, Brown earned a place on the 2020 Rimington Award Watch List as one of the top centers in the nation.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Ben Brown
Positives: Tough, durable offensive lineman with experience at guard and center. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and easily turns defenders from the action. Stays square, gets his hands up into opponents, and controls them once engaged at the point. Keeps his head on a swivel and works well with linemates. Blocks with a nasty attitude and always looks for someone to hit. Gets movement run blocking.
Negatives: Occasionally late with his hands. Heavy-footed, not quick to the second level, and ineffective blocking in motion. Could do a better job sinking his butt at the line of scrimmage.
Analysis: Brown was productive as well as durable for Mississippi and comes with positional versatility. He’s best on the inside of a power-gap scheme, though Brown does have athletic limitations.