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UCLA linebacker Jayon Brown could be versatile player for Chargers

Inside linebacker Jayon Brown led UCLA in tackles last season. Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

LOS ANGELES -- Charismatic with an engaging personality, UCLA linebacker Jayon Brown would be an interesting prospect for the Los Angeles Chargers to consider on Day 2 of Day 3 of this year’s draft.

At 6-foot and 231 pounds, Brown replaced Myles Jack in UCLA head coach Jim Mora’s 4-3 defensive scheme.

Yes, that’s the same Myles Jack that the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to select in the second round last year when current Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley served as their head coach.

Mora said that Brown played weak inside linebacker for him last year. In his final season with the Bruins, Brown led the team with 105 tackles (including seven for a loss), earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors. Brown also recorded three interceptions and six pass breakups.

“I think probably the path that you’ll see him take is he’ll come in and be an impact special teams player initially and work his way into a nickel role,” Mora said. “And I think that eventually he has the ability to be a starting inside linebacker.

“He’s active. He’s athletic. He’s smart. He can cover, he can tackle and he can run. He loves to play football. He’s very productive and good in coverage. Like anyone else, he’s going to have to mature physically.”

At UCLA’s pro day this week, Brown ran a 4.58-second, 40-yard dash time and improved his bench press at 225 pounds to 20 reps. He looked fluid and moved well going through linebacker drills for NFL scouts, which included a representative from the Chargers.

Brown will graduate this spring and should be able to immediately join a team’s offseason work once drafted in April.

Brown said he’s open to playing different positions at the next level.

“Anywhere they put me,” he said. “I’m a football player. I can make plays wherever I’m at. Outside, inside, safety, on the edge -- wherever, I’ll make it happen.”

The Chargers have a projected starting linebacker group of Denzel Perryman at middle linebacker, Jatavis Brown at weak outside linebacker and Kyle Emanuel on the strong side.

Josh Perry, Korey Toomer and Nick Dzubnar project as capable backups, but Brown would add some competition to that group with his speed and athleticism.