The Philadelphia Eagles added to their linebacker corps over the weekend by signing Jatavis Brown to a one-year contract. Brown, who only turned 26 in February, profiles as a potential Kamu Grugier-HIll replacement.
In order to learn even more about Philly’s new defender, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get a Los Angeles Chargers perspective on Brown. I reached out to the magnificent Michael Peterson of Bolts From The Blue and here’s what he had to say.
1 - Can you recap Brown’s time with the Chargers? Why did he fall out of favor in 2019?
Brown was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and went on to have his best season in the NFL as a rookie. In 12 games with seven stats, Brown totaled 79 tackles with eight tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He has since yet to match those rookie numbers for TFLs, sacks, and forced fumbles, over the last three seasons combined.
Injuries have always been the biggest theme with the Chargers in general and Brown was unfortunately part of that recent history. He hasn’t been available and that led to a drastic cut in snaps in 2019. He had all the potential in the world but could never put it all together when he needed it the most. When guys ahead of him got hurt, he couldn’t step up because he would end up being injured soon after, as well.
2 - What’s the reaction to him leaving LA? Should the Chargers have kept him?
The reaction has actually been nothing but positive. He unfortunately couldn’t tackle a dead ant in 2019 and that’s why no one is surprised they didn’t re-sign him. The Chargers needed to move on and get guys in the building who they can rely on.
3 - What are his strengths?
Brown’s biggest trait has always been his speed and athleticism. He had double-digit sacks and almost 20 tackles-for-loss as a senior in college. You saw a little of that skill-set when he was a rookie but it hasn’t made an appearance since. He ran a sub-4.5 forty and has the ability to keep up with tight ends and running backs but his 5’11 height didn’t do him any favors.
4 - What are his weaknesses?
Injuries and his tackling have been the two biggest things holding him back. He has only played all 16 games in a season once during his career and has failed to be available when the team needed him the most. If you turn on the 2019 film, he didn’t play a lot of snaps. It also didn’t help that he was pretty bad in those limited snaps. The primetime game against the Steelers was essentially a teach-tape on how not to tackle larger ball-carriers when you’re a smaller defender.
5 - What’s Brown’s ideal role? Rotational linebacker who plays special teams? Can he be a full-time starter?
At this point, until he proves otherwise, Brown should be a rotational linebacker in sub-packages while mainly playing on special teams.
6 - Anything else to know about him off the field?
He started his own app called “My Kart” which “brings brands and shoppers together - in one place, with one checkout.” Essentially a one-stop shopping app that I believe allows people to purchase items from multiple sites but you only have to check-out one single time. It’s nice to see him branching out into non-football things.