Music City Bowl: Why 49ers, Raiders Fans Should Watch Auburn Vs. Purdue

The Auburn Tigers had quite the disappointing 2018 season after being ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll

But Auburn (7-5) does have two players that 49ers and Raiders fans should watch as possible options in the 2019 NFL Draft when they take on Purdue (6-6) Friday in the Music City Bowl. 

Derrick Brown, DL 

Brown doesn't fit the Raiders' primary need of an edge rusher, but he very well could be an option as their top pick or if he slides down towards the end of the first round. At 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds, Brown is a beast of a man with freaky athleticism. 

Here's one example of why ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. called Brown an "unbelievable talent" before the 2018 season:

"I circled him in just about every game I saw," Kiper Jr. said. "It was Derrick Brown, Derrick Brown, Derrick Brown. I'm looking at the circles. He is a guy that definitely jumped off the page."

While Brown is a defensive tackle, he can certainly get after the quarterback and stuff the run game at the same time. The last two seasons, he has totaled 102 tackles (19 for loss), 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three pass defensed. 

With the Raiders out of the running for the No. 1 pick as they sit at No. 4 going into Week 17, the first three picks could be defensive linemen Nick Bosa, Josh Allen and Quinnen Williams. Here Brown could be a fit. 

The Raiders rank last in the NFL with 13 sacks and 30th in rush yards allowed per game at 143.3.

Jamel Dean, CB

Though 30-year-old Richard Sherman has been even better than expected for most of the season for the 49ers when on the field, the team has plenty of question marks regarding their cornerbacks. 

Ahkello Witherspoon, who has had an up-and-down year, saw his season end short due to a sprained PCL. On a positive note, D.J. Reed and Tarvarius Moore have shown flashes recently. But the 49ers rank last in the NFL with an embarrassingly low two interceptions on the year. 

Auburn's Jamel Dean could be an interesting Day 2 option for the 49ers' cornerback depth. Dean was the Tigers' top returning player this year by Pro Football Focus.

Listed at 6-2 and 208 pounds, Dean was also named to Bruce Feldman's Freaks List before the start of the season. He's been clocked running a 4.3 40-yard dash to go with a 38-inch vertical leap and 10-8 broad jump. 

With his size and speed, he's capable of plays like this: 

The downside to Dean is he's undergone multiple knee surgeries and has dealt with a hand injury this year. The last two years, Dean, a junior, has totaled 69 tackles (4.5 for loss), one sack, two interceptions, and 16 pass defensed. 

Here's how 49ers and Raiders fans can watch Auburn play Purdue in the Music City Bowl:

When: Friday, Dec. 28, at 10:30 a.m. PT
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN

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