In the moments following Derrick Brown, all 6-5 and 318 pounds of him, picking up a fumble and rumbling down the field until he tripped on what seemed like a raised 40-yard line, that former Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson sent out a hilarious tweet mocking his former teammate.

Johnson, now a star running back for the Detroit Lions, might want to watch what he says as the chances that he and Brown meet each other in the backfield next year are mighty good.

In a game where, had the Tigers had won, would have been labeled the “Derrick Brown Game,” the defense tackle showed why he is so sought after by NFL scouts and feared by opposing offenses. It wasn’t just his power that was on display, but his athleticism that, at his size, is nothing but impressive. At the start of the 4th quarter, Brown got to Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, caused the fumble and caught the ball out of mid-air, never breaking stride.

When was the last time you saw a defensive lineman make that look so natural?

Brown was everywhere and forcing double teams at times to open the way for fellow linemen Marlon Davidson, Big Kat Bryant and Nick Coe to make some noise. There is no doubting that without the defensive efforts, the game would have been lost way before the 88-yard touchdown run by Lamical Perine sealed it.

The Tigers kept forcing turnovers at opportune moments to give their offense another chance at breaking through. It all started with Brown who, as Gary Danielson is known to do, brought up a former Alabama player, Quinnen Williams, to compare with Brown. For me, there is no comparison between the two because, while Williams is a freak of nature and someone who will make NFL offenses shake in their spikes, Brown comes across as more agile.

Brown would be an NFL rookie right now, but he decided to come back for another season. One reason was a shot at a national title, something that is still in play for the Tigers despite Saturday’s loss to Florida. Another was to hopefully raise his draft stock so he can provide even more money for his family.

That will definitely be the case after what we have seen through the first 6 games, including on Saturday when he made his mark as one of the favorites for both the Lombardi Award — awarded to the best lineman or linebacker in college football — or the Nagurski Trophy, given to the top defensive player in college football.

Anyone who watched the game in The Swamp knew immediately who the top dog was when it comes to the Tigers’ defense. Brown will have many more opportunities to prove why he should be considered the elite of the elite with matchups against LSU, Georgia and Alabama remaining.

Given his prowess, it isn’t hard to see his status rising even more in the eyes of NFL teams. He is a force to be reckoned with and will be for a long time as a pro. He still has unfinished business at Auburn, though, and because of that, SEC QBs should be concerned.