Pros: Has good burst and quickness. Has good footwork, patience, and vision, and runs well in traffic. Does a nice job setting up defenders. Has good balance and runs low to the ground, and has a nice jump cut. Fights for every yard. Has a good stiff arms that slips a lot of tackles because of it. Also has nice power in small package and is hard to get a good clean hit on. Doesn't shy away from contact. Has soft hands, does a nice job running after the catch, and is capable lining up in the slot at wideout. Has good acceleration and elusiveness when he gets to the second level.
Cons: Lacks power, but runs through arm tackles. Lacks ideal long speed, but capable of taking it the distance. Needs to improve his blocking, as he'll miss some assignments in pass protection. Can dance a bit too much, particularly when working inside waiting for hole to open up. Can have choppy footwork at times when changing direction, and could be quicker out of his cuts. Tends to be more effective running outside than between the tackles.
Overview: Brown is a polished runner that is your ideal fit for a zone blocking team. He's patient with good vision, and has the hands to work as a capable receiver on third downs. He's very good on slants and stretch plays.
NFL Forecast: He doesn't have the ideal size or speed, and needs to improve in pass protection, but these things won't be too restrictive on his NFL success. In time, he'll be a better blocker, and I don't think it's going to be more than a year or two before he's capable there. His size won't be major issues because he'll be better able to avoid big shots due to his patience and vision. And he doesn't have burner speed, but he won't need it because he has good burst and will use his vision to make up for it. If he goes to a team like Houston or Indianapolis, he'll be a very productive NFL player behind their lines and blocking schemes. He'll be a capable receiver that could probably consistently catch 30-40 if not more passes a year. He doesn't wow you with his physical ability, but he is so consistent from snap to snap. Reminds me of a bigger version of Warrick Dunn, and like Dunn should have a long, successful NFL career because he's going to avoid far more hits than he takes.
ATL Forecast: Brown would be a good fit here in Atlanta, although at least early on, he'd only be a third down back. He'd be a nice challenge for Norwood. He lacks Norwood's home run speed, but has greater upside as an interior runner which would likely get him more opportunities over the long haul as a runner. And with a year or two he'd probably be caught up with Norwood as a blocker and receiver. If the Falcons would looking for a good complement to Turner over the next few years, Brown would be ideal. However, Brown probably doesn't have the toughness to slam the ball inside between the tackles as much as Mularkey would prefer, so it's hard to see him being a 20-25 carry guy here.
Value: Brown is worth a late first round pick for a team that has the ideal zone blocking scheme for him. Otherwise, he's probably a solid early second round pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Scouting Reports of running backs and fullbacks in the 2009 draft.
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