After a frustrating start to his college career, everything changed for Ohio State wide receiver Noah Brown one Saturday in Oklahoma. Now, with just one true season under his belt, he is headed for the NFL.
Brown’s 2016 season included just 32 receptions for 402 yards and seven touchdowns. He had a career-defining game in Week 3 against Oklahoma, when the receiver snagged a touchdown -- one of four that day — behind the back of a Sooner defender.
His record-setting performance was the perfect response to his lost 2015 season to a broken leg that required two surgeries. Originally set to be one of the replacements for deep threat Devin Smith -- alongside Michael Thomas — Brown was sidelined during the spring and ended up missing a full year to rehab.
One of Brown’s biggest draws is his size. He’s a player who can come down with a contested catch down field or come up big with a solid block. Despite his inexperience, he has a lot of potential, and can be a big contributor on special teams and in the redzone early on.
He's bad, bad Noah Brown...— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) February 21, 2017
Number 8️⃣0️⃣ @Nb_Eight0 is next up on our countdown to the #NFLCombine #DevelopedHere pic.twitter.com/fSvPTuhIQI
Weight: 222 lbs
Hands: 9 1/8”
Arms: 31 3/4”
There has been a lot of talk about Brown’s decision to declare for the draft after just one full season of play. The wideout noted it took a lot of conversation with his family and support system, but ultimately thinks he made the right decision.
“Even though I didn’t have the stats that most people have, I made big-time plays in big-time situations. When my number was called, I made that play. I decided to come out and earn my keep in the NFL.”
Brown was asked about his production drop off following the Oklahoma game, and how he was able to push forward without letting that frustrate him.
“I focus on controlling what I can control. Unfortunately, I’m not a play-caller. I can only execute the play to the best of my ability. I tried to do that. I took a lot of pride in what I did – blocking or whatever it was – to the best of my ability. Putting that on film can go a long way.”
Following up on his note on play-calling, Brown was asked if the team hiring a new offensive coordinator had anything to do with his decision to leave early.
“That wasn’t too much of a factor to me. At the end of the day, Urban Meyer is the head coach and he’s going to run his ship the way he wants his ship run. I haven’t spoken with the new coaches too much.”
When it’s all said and done, the biggest factor in Brown’s decision to head to the NFL was his injury. He said having to sit out a year showed him how quickly the game of football can be taken away from him, and he doesn’t want to take any more chances to not be able to live out his NFL dream.
Bench press: 19 reps* Brown tied for second among the wide receiver group.
40-yard dash: Brown decided not to run the 40 at the combine, but intends to at Ohio State’s Pro Day in late-March.
3 cone drill: 7.07 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.33 sec