Alabama in the Pros

Chargers praising rookie free agent CB Tony Brown after first minicamp practice

© Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

His career at the University of Alabama was loaded with off-field issues, but Tony Brown was able to accomplish three Southeastern Conference championships, a pair of College Football Playoff national titles, and even made a critical interception in the title game versus Georgia. 

He was unarguably the most emotionally invested player of the Nick Saban era, and despite not getting selected in the NFL Draft, Brown immediately signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent. During the team’s opening session of minicamp on Friday, head coach Anthony Lynn took notice in the ex-Crimson Tide standout as his play turned heads on the field. 

“It’s hard to tell from one practice, but just watching him at corner, he can play some free safety as well and I thought he did fine,” Lynn said on Brown. “He’s picking up the system. He’s still learning. He’s got a lot going on, but he is a gifted young man.” 

When he was not in trouble with Saban, Brown was a stalwart on special teams and a punisher in the secondary in run support. He collected 89 tackles in his tenure – including 31 stops last season with one tackle for loss, two pass breakups and one interception.  

The 6-foot, 199-pound Texan was clocked at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and his 31 1/2″ arms will be good in press man coverage.  

To pair with his passion, various former Tide players – especially Jonathan Allen – said Brown hits ‘like a defensive lineman.’ If he makes the 53-man roster, he will face a ton of game-changing talents in the AFC West that should give him a chance to shut them down. 

“He’s got great talent and his skill set is off the charts,” Lynn added on Brown. 

Along with Da’Shawn Hand, Brown could be the type of player that may have a bigger impact at the professional level versus what occurred in college. A focused mindset for him is pivotal, but it seems as though Brown wants to succeed in Los Angeles and Tide fans are pulling for him. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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