2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Safeties and their fits with the Atlanta Falcons
No. 10: Sydney Brown, Illinois
2022: 12 Games Played, 59 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 1 QB Hurry, 6 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 7 Pass Deflections, 2 Defensive Touchdowns
2021: 12 Games Played, 81 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 2 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections
2020: 6 Games Played, 36 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Fumble Forced
2019: 11 Games Played, 88 Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 3 Interceptions, 1 Pass Deflection, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2018: 10 Games Played, 55 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Interception, 5 Pass Deflections
Sydney Brown is an exceptional ballhawk and makes great plays on the ball when it's in the air. He's a great downhill run defender and flies through the seams created by the offensive line when he's tasked with defending the run. He's a smaller safety who's extremely fast and plays a lot like another small, explosive safety in Bob Sanders but with better ball skills. He's got excellent instincts, but he has flaws in man coverage when tasked to handle the slot.
He's got to improve his tackling, but he doesn't have the kind of agility that a safety needs at the NFL level. The Falcons could use him as a primary special teams player while he learns the pro game much like the 49ers did with Tanaloa Hufanga. The Falcons would likely have him as more of a depth player. If they want him on the roster, he's likely to be a fifth or sixth round pick in the draft but could end up going higher on draft day if another team sees the potential in him.
Player Comparison: Bob Sanders
All stats are courtesy CFBStats.com or official team websites. RAS athleticism comparisons are courtesy Kent Lee Platte's Relative Athletic Scores.