NFL draft: Former WSB-TV Athlete of the Week, Auburn star Derrick Brown expected to go early

Lanier's Derrick Brown-Montlick & Associates 2016 Athlete of the Year

The 2020 NFL draft will go down in history as unique as general managers and coaches figure out how to make their selections from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The normal gathering of the nation’s elite college players at the draft site won’t happen either. Most of those players will be watching from home.

WSB-TV NFL Draft Special: Watch Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 2

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That means a few dozen homes across the country will be buzzing with excitement come Thursday night for the first round of the NFL draft, including a handful in Georgia.

Experts forecast four former Georgia high school football stars to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Most expect former Lanier High School and Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown to be the first. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Alabama’s Xavier McKinney and Clemson’s A.J. Terrell are the others.

Lanier's Derrick Brown is unblockable

WSB-TV introduced viewers to Brown back in 2015. At the time, he was the number one ranked recruit in Georgia and was named one of the station’s Montlick and Associates Athlete of the Week. Several weeks later, he was named WSB-TV’s Athlete of the Year.

Brown ranked as the ninth highest recruit in the country. In a somewhat surprising announcement, Brown picked Auburn over Georgia on national signing day.

Derrick Brown picks Auburn

It’s worked out well for him. Brown is expected to be a top 10 pick in the draft. ESPN senior writer Jeff Legwold named Brown the fifth best player in the draft.

“Brown is an athletic rarity who can play in a variety of fronts and is routinely the first off the ball, posting 12.5 tackles for loss last season. While he might not be a double-digit sack guy from the start, Brown often puts the blocker across from him in recovery position from first contact. He will start from Day 1,” Legwold said.

Derrick Brown TD

While Brown won’t be able to celebrate the big night in Las Vegas at the draft this year, rest assured there will be plenty of excitement in Sugar Hill, his hometown.