When coaches say that one of their players is a first-round draft pick, sometimes the coach is Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles talking about quarterback Bryce Petty, a player currently ranked No. 9 among draft-eligible passers and projected in the 4-6 round range by WalterFootball.com.
And sometimes the coach is Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Vance Bedford talking about junior defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who raises his draft stock seemingly every week with disruptive performances and has a grade in the 1-2 round range from the same site.
Brown said several weeks ago that a grade in the first or second round would be enough for him to give up his final season of eligibility.
The Oklahoma State game marked another stand-out performance by Brown, for which he was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after the junior defensive tackle recorded a pair of sacks and forced a fumble as the Cowboys recorded their lowest point total and offensive output (192 total yards) since a 27-0 loss to Oklahoma in 2009. Oklahoma State produced only 34 rushing yards in the defeat.
On the season, Brown leads the team in tackles for loss (14) and sacks (6.5). He ranks eighth in the league in sacks (0.59 per game), though that mark is first among defensive tackles. His 62 tackles rank first in the Big 12 among defensive linemen, as do his tackles for loss among players at his position.
Last week, Brown was named one of five finalists for the Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation's top defensive player, as well as one of six semifinalists for the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman in the country. So he's starting to receive even more national recognition for his play as the Longhorns have won three in a row and four of the last five.
A look at his highlights tells the tale of his productive season:
The video makes apparent the quickness, effort level, and strength of Brown. What really sets him apart, according to a scouting report from Football Insiders, is his hand strength engaging blockers and his ability to take advantage of any loss of balance by opposing players.
The writer believes that Brown will continue rising on draft boards as the evaluation process continues, possibly above players ranked above him currently like Florida State's Eddie Goldman.
If Texas head coach Charlie Strong is to be believed, the preparation of Brown and his understanding also set him apart.
"He's fun to watch, but that's the way he practices," Strong said several weeks ago. "He takes it from practice to the game, and the same thing happens at practice. He's a student -- he's one of those guys that listens. Even during the game he'll come back and say, 'Hey, listen, when that guy checks, this is what it is, this is the run play it is. Or when he checks this, this is a pass play.' He's always talking and communicating on the sideline. He works, and that's the respect that the players give him because he works so hard."
One thing that's clear -- if the film doesn't lie, it won't have much bad to say about the big Brenham product.