Rookie Rundown: WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina

Rookie Rundown: WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina

Fantasy Football Rookie Analysis

Rookie Rundown: WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina

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NFL teams in search of a deep threat will internally debate North Carolina wideout Dyami Brown during the middle portion of the upcoming draft. He may not be selected in the first two rounds, but Brown certainly will be considered as early as Round 3 by teams missing the piece of a field-stretcher on the outside.

Highly productive over the past two seasons, Brown saw action as a true freshman in 2018. While his production (17-173-1) didn’t exactly match his starts (six), he gained invaluable experience that set him up for success the next year.

Height: 6-foot-0 5/8
Weight: 189 pounds
40 time: 4.46 seconds

Brown exploded in his sophomore campaign, registering a dozen touchdowns (tied for UNC’s school record) in 13 starts. A four-star recruit coming out of a Charlotte, N.C., high school, his 2019 efforts were rewarded with recognition as a third-team All-ACC selection. Brown would go on to receive first-team All-ACC honors in 2020 and also was named to the Associated Press third-team All-American roster.

Table: Dyami Brown NCAA stats (2018-20)

Year
School
Class
Gm*
Receiving
Rushing
Rec
Yds
Avg
TD
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
2018
North Carolina
FR
9
17
173
10.2
1
0
0
0
2019
North Carolina
SO
12
51
1,034
20.3
12
1
2
2
0
2020
North Carolina
JR
11
55
1,099
20.0
8
0
0
0
Career
32
123
2,306
18.7
21
1
2
2
0

*includes postseason/bowl games

Brown doesn’t fit all offenses in the NFL. The old-fashioned “Air Coryell” playbook is an ideal fit for him, and it has its current derivatives — West Coast, spread, Air Raid, and Bruce Arians’ design. Teams that rely heavily on nuanced route trees may be turned off by Brown. In the right offense, he could develop into a three-down target, but as it stands, his limited exposure to complex designs will have him behind the learning curve for more than a few NFL systems.

Pros

  • Positive blend of size and speed as a deep threat — dangerous weapon against one-on-one coverage, scoring 38 percent of his touchdowns from 40 or more yards
  • Efficient productivity — averaged more than 20 yards per receptions the past two seasons and scored every 5.3 catches
  • Tremendous ball tracking over the shoulder in stride
  • Dangerous sell of double moves on go and post routes — impressive steps to the outside that can allow him to burn past a defender caught in transition or too eager to break on the ball
  • Unafraid to run drags and slants over the middle — his tape shows a few examples of successful deep in-routes, too
  • Competitive streak, especially in jump-ball situations — despite being a shade below 6-foot-1, Brown has a 38-inch vertical that allows him to compete when climbing the ladder
  • Will provide enough physical tools for a coaching staff to improve his route mechanics — could be an asset on timing routes, such as curls, digs, comebacks, back-shoulder throws, etc.
  • Varies his release timing to avoid being jammed

Cons

  • Suspect hands — caught only 57 percent of his 121 targets through first two seasons, which is partially a product of his role as a deep threat — and allows too many passes into his body
  • Limited experience with a full route tree
  • Struggles with a lack of functional strength as a blocker
  • Average agility despite having plus-athleticism — isn’t a quick-twitch guy and needs extra steps to get up to top speed
  • Highly inconsistent footwork and too many rounded breaks on underneath routes
  • While he has experience from the slot, the vast majority of his success came from playing split end
  • No experience as a return man on special teams

Fantasy football outlook

Whether Brown goes in Round 3 or Round 6, fantasy footballers can expect his single-year utility to be practically zero. There will be a handful of plays called to see if he can exploit his opponents on simplistic, field-stretching routes. … Good luck guessing when to play him. It’s entirely possible he’s asked to redshirt as a rookie.

There’s a great deal of potential here for dynasty leagues, and Brown could find himself as a starting “X” receiver for an NFL club in a few years. His game is somewhat a blend of Nelson Agholor and Jeremy Maclin. Agholor is slightly bigger and faster, whereas Maclin displayed better lateral agility and was a special teams weapon.

Brown’s early career may look something like Agholor’s — significant high-tide, low-tide ebbs and flows, leaving a sea of maddened fantasy gamers in its wake. And much like with Agholor, it will be imperative for Brown’s future boss to properly utilize him more so than how it pertains to most wideouts. Las Vegas found success in deploying Agholor as a deep target on the outside, rather than trying to “square peg, round hole” him into a slot weapon as Philly previously erred. If properly utilized, Brown’s career trajectory suggests he’s a WR2 in standard leagues and a third in reception-rewarding designs.

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