Former Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown has been selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
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Brown is arguably one of the greatest overachievers in Penn State history.
Coming out of high school, Montclair State was his only offer.
Brown started his college football career in junior college at Lackawanna Community. He played there for two seasons and played well enough to get the chance to move up to Penn State. Brown became one of the team’s best and most popular players. In 2021, he tied for the national lead in interceptions with six. This past season, Brown “only” had four interceptions– still leading Penn State– but still was a force on Penn State’s defense. He capped his college career in near-perfect fashion, being named the Rose Bowl’s defensive MVP.
But NFL.com draft expert Daniel Jeremiah likes Brown more than any other safety on the board.
“Ji’Ayir Brown is one that I finished up since my last top 50. He’ll move into my top 50,” Jeremiah told reporters on a conference call in Feburary. “I think he’s my top safety in the entire draft.”
So what does Brown do well in Jeremiah’s view?
“He’s got corner skill, obviously the history there, he can play in the middle of the field, he’s ball production, you can drop him down low if you want,” he said.
Jeremiah also praised Brown’s toughness and physicality and cited his performance in Penn State’s win over Auburn (five tackles, a sack, an INT and a forced fumble) as an example.
Brown’s teammate and friend, Jaquan Brisker, also went on night two of the draft last season.