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NFL Draft profile: Noah Brown is a reliable receiving threat

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The receiver bounced back from injury to be a playmaker for the Buckeyes.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State fans waited years to see the talent from wide receiver Noah Brown that Coach Meyer and staff lauded since 2014. Finally, his 2016 showed everyone exactly what he is capable of when he’s healthy.

Despite a leg injury that kept him out for the better part of two seasons, he finally broke into the starting lineup last year and was the big playmaker the Buckeyes needed. With the departure of Devin Smith and then Michael Thomas, Brown stepped up admirably.

Measurements

Height Weight Arms Hands Bench Press 3-cone drill 20-yard shuttle
Height Weight Arms Hands Bench Press 3-cone drill 20-yard shuttle
6'2 222 lbs 31 3/4" 9 1/8" 19 reps* 7.07 sec 4.33 sec

*Denotes top performer among position group

Brown didn’t participate in the 40-yard dash at the combine, but did run it at Ohio State’s pro day workout.

Strengths

  • Size. He’s one of the bigger receivers in the draft class, and can be a headache for defenses. He can pluck the ball out of the air right over the defensive back and come up with a big play.
  • Physical. His size helps with this, but he attacks the ball regardless of who is in his way, and has a mean stiff arm to give him a little more separation.

Weaknesses

  • He’s raw but talented. He only had one full season with the Buckeyes, but he made that season count in spite of his own scheme at times. He clearly would’ve been in the starting rotation had he been healthy his first two seasons, but still has a lot to improve on at the next level.
  • Route-running. Due to his extended stay on the sideline, he isn’t quite as polished as some of the three and four year receivers coming out this year. His speed can cause issues for defenders, but he doesn’t make the cleanest cuts to utilize any initial separation.

Highlights

Stats

Year Games Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns
Year Games Receptions Yards Average Touchdowns
2014 2 1 9 9 0
2015 0 - - - -
2016 12 32 402 12.6 7

Projections

Per SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, Brown ranks No. 25 among the receiver prospects in this year’s draft class. His inexperience and drop in production following the Oklahoma game lends to his lower ranking, but he could make some team very happy with a late-round pick.

Outlook

Brown definitely still has some development before he becomes a starting receiver in the NFL, but he’s got the skills to be a breakout player with a year or two of experience. Teams covet having a big receiver on the outside who can come down with contested balls, and Brown is that guy.