When it comes to conversations about the best players in 2015, you can expect that they will likely include Columbus (Ga.) Carver's Mekhi Brown in some way. The 6'6, 230-pounder has already earned an early five-star rating on the 247Sports Composite, marking him as an elite recruit.
This distinction not only places Brown among the best players in the country, but among those at his position as well -- he's currently rated second among all weak-side defensive ends on the 247Sports Composite, trailing only fellow five-star recruit Shameik Blackshear. And among recruits in his native Georgia, Brown ranks fourth -- it would not be unreasonable to think that he'll battle defensive tackle Trent Thompson, tackle Mitch Hyatt and athlete Terry Godwin for top honors in the Peach State all year long, as all four members in this group are five-star type talents.
Brown holds 15 reported offers as of early March 2014, coming from major programs like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Texas A&M, USC and Stanford.
The first thing that jumped out to me about Brown was his length. In football, length, when used properly, can provide the advantage that allows a player to remain unblocked or to quickly get off a block. Brown, while not very big at the moment, already displays good functional strength with his long levers. And he has the frame to eventually play at 260 or more pounds after some time in an excellent college strength program.
Many will look at Brown and immediately think pass rusher, but I am impressed that a player of his build plays the run as well as he does. A player of his height and age will struggle to consistently play low, but Brown does show the ability to bend and do so.
Brown also is a good pass rusher, but his highlights won't jump off the screen like some others, largely because his team does't use him to fly off the edge every time. His role is more that of a player asked to control a side. His burst in the open field is very good, and here again, his length will help him, but I will be excited to see him come off the edge to gauge his first-step quickness, out of a two- and three-point stance.
I think Brown profiles as a big 3-4 outside linebacker who will put his hand in the dirt as an end when his team goes to a 4-3 alignment. He has the potential to be a multi-year starter for one of the better teams in college football and an NFL player.