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Eagles draft Sydney Brown in third round

Syd is headed to Philly.

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Wyoming v Illinois Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Sydney Brown is headed to the NFC Champs.

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Brown with the 66th overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

The London, Ontario native appeared in 50 games during his 5-year Illinois career, originally committing to the Illini under Lovie Smith as a 3-star prospect in the Class of 2018.

As a senior in 2022, Brown was named a team captain and had his best season yet, recording 60 tackles and hauling in a Big Ten-leading 6 interceptions.

He was a vital piece to the Illini’s nation-leading scoring defense, playing strong safety and lining up mostly in the box, while showcasing his coverage ability primarily in the slot matched up with tight ends.

He was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection by Big Ten coaches and a Second Team All-American selection by USA Today.

At the NFL Combine in March, Brown measured 5-foot-10, 211 pounds and ranked in the top five among safety participants in 5 different categories:

Sydney Brown NFL Combine Results

Event Result Safety Ranks
Event Result Safety Ranks
40-Yard Dash 4.47 seconds 4th
10-Yard Split 1.51 seconds 3rd
Vertical Jump 40.5" 3rd
Broad Jump 10' 10'' 2nd
Bench 23 2nd

Here’s what Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about Brown:

A physical safety who is limited by a lack of fluidity in space. Brown has straight-line speed and is very effective mapping his transit to the ball-carrier near the line of scrimmage. However, his missed tackles are concerning considering the position he plays. He competes hard in man coverage, using everything at his disposal to prevent tight ends from making plays, but above average pass-catchers could be too much for him to handle as a pro. Brown will need to prove he can win in the box and shine on special teams to stick around in the league.

Brown becomes the third Illini selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, joining fellow Illini DBs Devon Witherspoon and Quan Martin.