Cameron Brown’s confidence in himself was apparent as soon as he arrived for his interview session at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.
The former Ohio State cornerback stepped up to the lectern wearing a custom-made, diamond-encrusted chain in the shape of a padlock, which signifies his belief in his ability to lock up opposing receivers. And it projected an outward confidence that he wants everyone to see from him in Indianapolis this week.
“I’ve always had confidence in myself inside. Now I’m more like public with my confidence,” Brown said. “I feel like I can do anything, and I’m not afraid to show it.”
Brown has always expressed confidence in his speed, tweeting back in June 2020 that he was “the fastest DB in college football.” As he prepares to run the 40-yard dash at the combine three years later, he isn’t backing down from that belief.
“I should. That’s the plan,” Brown said when asked if he’ll be the fastest defensive back at the combine. “My goal is to run a 4.2.”
Brown is planning to go through a full on-field workout when the defensive backs take the field for their day of testing at the combine on Friday. While he battled injuries in each of his final three seasons at Ohio State and missed five games in 2022, he said he received a clean bill of health during his medical exams Thursday and feels ready to perform at his best.
“My body feels amazing, so I’m just ready to go out there,” Brown said.
Brown’s confidence in himself was fostered in part by his five years at Ohio State, which he feels prepared him well to play professionally. All of Brown’s last three position coaches at Ohio State were previously NFL secondary coaches – Tim Walton, Kerry Coombs and Jeff Hafley – which he believes gives him a leg up in his preparation over cornerbacks from other schools.
“They gave me the mindset of an NFL player,” Brown said. “Most college coaches try to just teach certain things, but they showed me the more detailed part of the game that’s not only athletic ability. Because when you get to the NFL, everybody's talented, everybody's athletic. It's all about what are you going to do with it.”
Walton, in particular, made a profound impact this past season on Brown, who says he has known Walton since childhood even though Walton didn’t arrive at Ohio State until 2022.
“He changed my life,” Brown said of Walton. “He gave me the blueprint to the game. He broke it down. People try to make the game all complex and hard, it’s very simple. It’s just little angles, numbers and details.
“His son’s my best friend. So I already knew when he was coming in, I knew it was gonna be, he was like a father figure to me growing up. He really, really pushed me at all times. I just know that, once he came in, it was no bullshit. I had to pick it up and go.”
“I feel like I can do anything, and I’m not afraid to show it.”– Cam Brown on his confidence
Going up against fellow 2023 NFL draft prospect C.J. Stroud and Ohio State’s elite wide receivers in practice also helped Brown feel prepared to make the jump to the next level.
“I would go against him and then in the games, it's so much easier because nobody could put the ball where he puts it. And we have great receivers for him to throw to,” Brown said of Stroud. “So when I get to the league, it's gonna be pretty much the same where everybody’s gonna be a great quarterback.”
Brown was never overly talkative at Ohio State, choosing to let his play do most of the talking. As he looks to convince NFL teams this week that they should draft him, he’s taking a different approach.
“I feel like they’re gonna get a young, confident corner who's very physical, who's long, fast and not afraid to compete with anybody,” Brown said.