Is a surprisingly gifted vertical route runner, has some fluidity to his game, can plant his foot in the ground, sell the route and accelerate quickly down the field. Really picks up speed quickly and consistently is able to gain a step on his man. Isn't nearly as polished on more sharply breaking routes, tends to round them off significantly, looks much tighter in the hips in his area of the game and waste a lot of motion trying to separate. However, has a long set of arms, knows how to go up and get the football and has the ability to pluck the ball away from his frame when he wants to. Also, has some shiftiness down the field vs. press coverage. Isn't overly shifty off the line and tends to take a wide angle to release, but uses his length well and lateral quickness to clean work a sudden arm over the defender, gain inside position and take off into his route.
However, as talented as he is for his size, he is a major character and health concern. Brutally broke his leg in the final game of his freshman season and missed the start of his sophomore season because of it. Also missed time during 2009 with a shoulder injury. Missed seven games this past year with a lower leg strain, but never appeared to be healthy at all during the 2010 season and seemed to have a noticeable gimp to his play. There are some questions about his work ethic and attitude as well and has had some run ins with the coaching staff at Southern Miss during his time there.
Impression: An immature, underachiever who struggles to handle adversity and play through pain. However, he's a big, talented kid who when healthy runs well and has the ability to start at the next level. A major boom or bust prospect."
He exploded onto the scene in his first year on campus, winning first-team Conference USA, C-USA Freshman of the Year, and freshman All-American honors by bringing in 67 passes for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns. He suffered a broken leg in the team's bowl game and didn't eclipse his freshman year totals in the following two seasons: 47-785-9 in 2009, 16-264-3 in 2010.
Brown's 2010 numbers were so low because he missed seven games due to a lower leg strain. NFL teams will be hard-pressed to draft a receiver with two leg injuries before the late rounds, even given Brown's size and athleticism.
Strengths: Looks the part. Flashes a strider's speed and strong hands. Shows relatively quick feet for his size on stutter routes and on out-cuts. Good shoulder shimmy to get free on the skinny post. Nice red-zone target. Works himself open when his quarterback is scrambling, either coming back to the ball or releasing deep. Height and vertical give him a chance to win any jump ball and he uses his length to separate. Tracks the ball over his shoulder.
Weaknesses: Injury history is worrisome. Eases off the line. Takes time to get to full speed. Can turn and run after the catch, but won't elude most pro corners. Hands are inconsistent, seems to feel the hit before it comes. Should win jump balls more consistently given his size. Goes after targets when blocking for the run, but lacks flexibility to sustain against smaller corners. Plays with attitude, but maybe a shade too much; worries about getting pass interference calls more than out-working smaller corners."
Positive: King-size receiver who has flashed skill the past three years but has also been injury prone. Huge target, effectively adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception in stride. Fluid releasing off the line, quickly gets to top speed and catches the ball with his hands.
Negative: Displays marginal quickness and a minimal burst in his game. Not getting separation down the field. Does not show good sense of timing. Lazily comes off the line if he's not directly involved in the action.
Analysis: Brown looked like a tremendous prospect after a sensational freshman season yet his college career has since been hampered with injury. He projects as either a very large possession receiver or a move tight end at the next level but must stay healthy and learn to do the little things well to have a career in the NFL."
Negatives: Lazy route runner, rounds his cuts, gears down when changing direction... Numbers have dropped every year he's been at Southern Mississippi... Broke his leg at the end of the 2008 season... Missed seven games in 2010 due to injury... Major character concerns... Gives up on plays that aren't designed for him... Pouts when he's not getting the football... Had verbal disputes with coaches on the sidelines... Has bad body language on the field... Not intelligent, has been rumored that he did not qualify academically for most high level schools coming out of high school which is why he ended up at Southern Mississippi... Really needed to come back to school for his senior season, is a first round talent who will fall to the late rounds... Boom or bust type of player, has absolutely every physical tool a team could ask for but is not mentally prepared for the NFL."
Strengths: Rare blend of size and athleticism. Big, physical receiver. Can go up for the ball at its highest point. Unlimited potential. Has all the raw skills NFL teams will ask for.
Weaknesses: Missed 7 games in 2010, and suffered a severely broken leg in 2008. Injuries and physical soundness are huge concerns. Limited playing time against marginal competition could be deceptive in scouting DeAndre.
Projection: Projecting him in the 3rd round. The type of money paid for a guy with this much upside makes sense in round 3. Time will tell, and his physical health is going to determine. Has 1st round talent. "
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