With their last pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions took a flyer on small school linebacker Brandon Hepburn. Coming from Florida A&M, Hepburn enters the NFL relatively unfamiliar to fans. Hepburn does bring experience and also an amazing education to the Lions.
Hepburn had 86 tackles, 5.5 sacks, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble during the 2012 season. This impressive stat line grew on the 2011 season that saw Hepburn post 63 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. Prior to breaking through as a starter in his junior season, Hepburn contributed to special teams.
CBS Sports had Hepburn ranked as the 288th best prospect and 12th at his position. Hepburn ended up getting drafted at the 245th position and being the 11th inside linebacker taken in the draft. Hepburn did put up some impressive numbers at the 2013 Scouting Combine.
At the combine, Hepburn ran a 4.68 second 40 yard dash. This ranked seventh best among inside linebackers at the competition. Hepburn actually improved on this time at his team’s pro day, where he ran a 4.54 second 40 yard dash. Hepburn also impressed in the broad jump, where his 10’4” was fifth best at his position.
The interesting thing about Hepburn is his education. He is a biochemistry major from Florida A&M. If football falls apart for Hepburn, he will have his brains to fall back on. In a summer internship, Hepburn worked on killing cancer cells in rats through copper technology. How many NFL players can say that?
With the pick of Hepburn, the Lions added depth at linebacker. Expect Hepburn to see time on special teams if he cracks the opening day roster.