Two standouts from the NFL Regional Combine platform signed huge contracts this year. Following three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers and leadership growth, combined with big numbers, linebacker Jatavis Brown soon should be inking a generational-changing contract.
In the midst of household names and Pro Bowl players, Brown made himself as a staple in that stellar Chargers defense.
Since Brown entered the NFL as a fifth-round selection by the Chargers in the 2016 NFL Draft, his average ranking on the team in tackles – among the defensive front – has been third, including leading the Chargers in stops as a rookie (79).
If not for a few bumps and bruises, Brown probably would have led the Bolts in tackles the last two seasons, and perhaps be a Pro Bowler.
“He (Brown) has versatility,” stated Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, according to ESPN. “He plays Mike (linebacker), he plays Will (linebacker). He comes in and plays nickel, he plays dime.
“He knows the defense very well and we were very fortunate to have someone like him on our team when Denzel (Perryman) went down, and we could just plug a guy in.”
When Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley joined the club, Brown had to prove himself to the demanding former head coach. After their first season together in 2017, Brown appears to have won Bradley over.
“I think another year in a system you’re seeing him (Brown) play faster,” said Bradley. “… He’s always been fast, but the ability to recognize and react quicker than he has in the past, I think that’s really been evident for him.”
Brown is a student of the game and he is a leader among men. Even at the Houston-held NFL Regional Combine trial in 2016, Brown led the way for the other NFL hopefuls to follow. After proving his worth, the Akron star is more comfortable in Bradley’s system.
“Just getting that full year under my belt in studying myself last year, it really helped,” said Brown. “I feel more comfortable and know what to anticipate because I know the system.”
As the quarterback of the defense, Brown has to make sure that everyone is positioned to make a play, including the likes of defensive end Joey Bosa and defensive backs Derwin James and Casey Hayward, who all are Pro Bowlers.
Clearly, the respect is there.
“Overall, I feel like he’s been leading us,” stated Hayward. “He’s the guy with the mic, so he’s a leader when he’s out there. The more snaps you get under the same defense, the better.
“This is our second year in this defense, and I feel like we’ve been playing at a high level, and he’s part of that reason.”
Thielen agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal with $35 million guaranteed. Moore II signed a four-year extension with the Colts that can ultimately be worth than $36 million, making him the highest paid slot corner in the NFL.
Brown is still in his four-year rookie deal worth $2.52 million. Brown has displayed his importance to the Chargers due to his impactful play on the field. Soon, it will be reflected in his bank account.