The 2021 NFL Draft boasts claim to an incredibly deep wide receiver class. The talent at the top is electric, and through all seven rounds, there are high-value options worth exploring. North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown ranks more toward the middle of the group, but he has a skill set that could help him ascend as the NFL Draft nears. What does Brown bring to the table, and what does his draft stock look like as we near the NFL Draft?
Dyami Brown NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: North Carolina
- Current Year: Junior
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 185 pounds
Teams are always looking for dynamic talent in their receiving corps. That’s one constant similarity between college football and the NFL. Receivers who can open up the field and make offenses more multiple are extremely valuable. In 2018, Dyami Brown was a budding prospect viewed to have that upside.
Rated as a four-star prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, Brown had offers from prestigious schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, and Oregon. Brown had the opportunity to go to a school with a more established NFL pipeline. Instead, however, the Charlotte, North Carolina native chose to play for his hometown team: The North Carolina Tar Heels.
Dyami Brown’s career as a North Carolina wide receiver
Right out of the gates, Dyami Brown saw action with the Tar Heels. He played in nine games as a true freshman. Although he wasn’t a premier contributor on the offensive side of the ball, Brown managed to accumulate 17 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to earn Brown a larger role in the coming 2019 campaign.
In 2019, Brown became a starter for the Tar Heels. Around the same time, upstart freshman Sam Howell took the reigns at quarterback. The two combined to form an explosive connection. As a result, Brown burst onto the college football scene.
In 12 games, Brown logged 51 catches for 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his play, he earned third-team All-ACC recognition, and he became one of the most prestigious receiving threats in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Brown’s stellar 2020 season
Dyami Brown entered 2020 as a clearly rising NFL Draft prospect. Additionally, in 2020, Brown reprised his role as one of the chief playmakers on the Tar Heels’ offense. He had a similar campaign to his 2019 season, amassing 55 catches for 1,099 yards and 8 touchdowns in 11 games. His play again earned him national recognition, reinforcing his status as one of the many receivers worthy of Day 2 consideration in April.
Brown was recognized as a first-team All-ACC selection. He was also chosen as one of the semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the best wide receiver in the nation. Although Brown didn’t win the award, he left an undeniable imprint on the ACC football landscape. Over his two years as a starter, Brown accumulated 106 catches for 2,133 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Analyzing Dyami Brown’s NFL Draft profile
In a fitting twist, considering his name, Dyami Brown is indeed dynamic. The North Carolina wide receiver performed his best work in the deep third for the Tar Heels, and that’s evident on his stat sheet.
Over the course of his career, Brown averaged 18.7 yards per catch. Additionally, in both 2019 and 2020, he averaged over 20 yards per catch. Considering his sample size — over 50 catches each season — that’s a very impressive feat.
Brown’s most pervasive trait in the deep third is his long speed and explosiveness. He doesn’t need much of a runway to get going. Once he hits his top speed, he’s an electric long-strider who can create space vertically. Brown couples his long speed with good ball tracking ability and zone awareness.
Brown is a smart vertical route runner, who knows how to sneak into defenders’ blind spots and slip into open space. He can also throw them off-balance with quick, twitchy double-moves. Once in the deep third, Brown has the ability to maintain his speed while tracking the ball in mid-air. When unobstructed, he completes the catch process with soft hands. In addition, he has the athleticism and body contortion ability to adjust for balls.
While Brown’s process in the short and intermediate ranges is less developed, he does show some flashes of excellent foot speed, burst, and multitasking ability off the line of scrimmage. He has enough length to swipe at cornerbacks in press coverage off the line.
Several times on tape, he got his defender off-balance with methodical footwork, then released with a nice blend of burst and physicality. He also shows off flashes of twitch and suddenness. If he can be more consistent with that, he has tremendous upside.
What are the potential concerns with Dyami Brown?
As exciting as Brown’s play can be, there were some notable limitations that stood out on tape. Outside of his vertical ability, Brown is somewhat lacking in terms of consistency. He’s not as reliable of a run-after-catch threat as you’d expect. He has the explosiveness and length to get RAC yards on occasion, but he doesn’t always show the lateral elusiveness and contact balance necessary to grind out added yards.
While Brown’s long speed and ability to stretch the field is valuable, he can offer more consistent suddenness once he’s already built up speed. He sometimes rounds his route breaks in the short and intermediate ranges. Additionally, on in-breaking routes, he sometimes telegraphs his break with fluctuations in his stride lengths. He has the stop-and-start ability to abruptly collapse backward and create a window for his QB, but he doesn’t always utilize it.
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Furthermore, while Brown has good ball tracking ability and length, he’s not as consistent as desired in contested situations. He’s not authoritative enough with 50-50 looks. And as a red zone target, he can be bullied when he doesn’t have the space to get free.
Brown also had some concerning focus drops on tape after getting open. Many of his drops came in the deep third, which is more understandable. However, he also had some alarming miscues closer to the line of scrimmage. For a receiver that’s still developing his route nuance and tool application, that’s something he’ll need to work out.
Dyami Brown’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Dyami Brown is an exciting player, and the stats add up in that sense. With his devastating release, sheer speed, open-field burst, and downfield ability, Brown has a legitimate shot at being one of the best pure deep threats from the 2021 NFL Draft. His raw traits also give him a nice foundation to build upon. On top of it all, he’s a surprisingly competent blocker, who plays with a competitive fire that never goes out.
However, while Brown has tantalizing potential, his game is still far from complete. Much of his production in college came from simple vertical routes. On one hand, it’s impressive that Brown was able to win so often by simply beating his man downfield with his speed.
Nevertheless, Brown will need to refine his route running at the next level. He’s not quite as sharp as desired with his cuts, and he can use more deception when trying to attain separation closer to the line. In the short and intermediate ranges, Brown’s long speed isn’t as lethal, and in congestion, he has to rely more on his twitch and burst to break free.
Which teams might benefit from Brown’s skill set?
Although there are questions surrounding his immediate utility, there’s no denying that Dyami Brown, who’s just 21 years old, has a ton of potential. If he can polish up his game and minimize his drops at the next level, he can be a valuable deep threat and catalyst for an NFL offense. His speed could be lethal in the slot. However, he has enough length and pre-route physicality to thrive on the boundary as well.
Given the depth of the 2021 wide receiver class, Brown likely doesn’t go until mid-to-late Day 2. He also might slip into Round 4, depending on how teams grade his film. In that range, Brown profiles well with teams like the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers.
In truth, plenty of other teams have reason to be interested in the North Carolina wide receiver. His analytical profile is very strong. He also clearly has the physical capacity to grow and peak out above other receivers.
Pro Day testing will be big for Brown. No one questions his speed, but just how dominant is it? Will he test in the 4.4 range, or will he be able to get under that threshold and linger closer to a 4.3? If Brown can confirm his elite athleticism with testing, then there’s a chance he could rise even higher on the draft board. From there, he might earn an opportunity to make plays in a premier role early at the NFL level.
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