INDIANAPOLIS –When asked to which linebacker he models his game after, Illinois' Jonathan Brown listed three players.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. And Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan.
The first two players on that list – Lewis and Willis – have combined for nearly 3,000 career tackles with 61.5 sacks during their lengthy NFL careers.
Trevathan, on the other hand, is just beginning his career in the league. He's made 155 stops in his first two NFL seasons, including a Broncos-best 125 in 2013.
So why did Brown include Trevathan on his list with two future Hall-of-Famers?
"He's a sideline-to-sideline type of guy," Brown said. "I like the way he flows to the ball. He's a physical player and he can drop into pass (coverage) as well. He's been very productive for the Broncos, which I could see myself being one day in the league."
Just like Trevathan did in his days at Kentucky, Brown had plenty of production during his career at Illinois. The three-time All-Big 10 honoree finished his collegiate career with 317 tackles and 14 sacks, leading the Illini in tackles in 2011 and 2013.
Trevathan led the SEC in tackles during his final two seasons at Kentucky, recording 143 and 144 tackles in his senior and junior seasons, respectively.
"I really think we have a similar skill set," Brown said. "I like the way he plays the game."