Northwestern's NFL Level Talent: Drake Dunsmore and Vince Browne

Northwestern's NFL Level Talent: Drake Dunsmore and Vince Browne

There are college football gurus that believe Northwestern could be a sleeper pick in the Legends division of the Big Ten. If that is going to be then you’re going to have to learn more non-Dan Persa NU names. Everyone knows about Persa, and I guess in his place now Kain Colter, but the two names on this squad you’ll hear called on NFL draft day are Drake Dunsmore, a superback (tight end-fullback hybrid) and Defensive End Vince Browne.

Both are seniors on a team loaded with upperclassmen.

Dunsmore has battled through four years of shoulder, knee and ankle injuries. The 6-3, 235 playmaker’s career highlight was his 66 yard TD reception (complete with stiff arm, and spin move versus Auburn in the 2010 Outback Bowl. It was one of the most exciting plays in one extremely exciting game.

“You can’t forget about Drake Dunsmore,” NU Coach Pat Fitzgerald said at Media Day

“Drake has battled through a bunch of injuries. He’s persevered. I know how excited he is. He was at dinner with our leadership council for kind of that last supper. I can see the look in his eye. Drake would be the weapon with the most experience.”

Dunsmore had a big first half of 2010, and 8 catches in the win over a nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes team. However, he had just four catches in the final three games, essentially disappearing at the same time Persa did. Drake had only two catches Saturday, but was still named offensive big playmaker for the week by the coaching staff.

Dunsmore is on the watch list for the Mackey and Pony Express awards. He’s listed as the 5th overall tight end, best in the Big Ten according to Rivals, 6th ranked by Athlon. His father Pat played for the Bears.

Vince Browne drilled Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig from behind on the final play of the Wildcats 24-17 win at B.C. The tackle sealed the game and gave the Cats their sixth straight opening day win. NFL scouts like him, not at much as they liked current Chicago Bears Defensive End Corey Wootton, but Browne may end up being taken higher than Corey was in the 2010 NFL Draft. Wootton’s draft stock was hurt by his ACL injury.

Browne also compares favorably to Corbin Bryant, one of the major stars of last year’s defense. I asked Fitz to compare Browne to the other two players:

“(He’s) a little bit different than Corbin (Bryant). Corbin’s a big guy, 300+ pounds. Vince is real lean, 265-pound athlete. A guy that, not only does a great job rushing the pass, he’s solid against the run, he has a high effort, a high motor. He does a nice job in some of our pressure packages. He’s a very dynamic guy, maybe not as long as Corey (Wootton), Corey’s 6’7″, but (Browne) is probably in between Corbin and Corey as far as stature. He’s played a lot of ball for us and has been very productive. I’m excited to watch him play.”

Browne is considered a candidate for the Bednarik, Nagurksi, Lombardi and Hendricks awards. He’s currently ninth in school history in career tackles for loss (seventh among active FBS players) and fifth in sacks.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

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