This group of wide receivers entering the 2021 NFL Draft is deep and rankings are going to be all over the place. One guy you need to pay attention to is Dyami Brown. Entering the draft after his junior season at North Carolina, he’s someone I’m super excited about. Let’s dive into the Dyami Brown rookie profile.
(Note: you can check out a video profile I did on Dyami Brown on The Fantasy Authority YouTube channel by clicking here.)
Dyami Brown was a consensus 4-star recruit in the 2018 class across all of the major recruiting sites and was in the ESPN-300. 247Sports had him listed with the “athlete” designation because he did play some on the defensive side of the ball in high school, while ESPN had him as the 33rd wide receiver and Rivals ranked him 21st at the position. Brown held offers from schools like Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida before ultimately staying in-state and committing to UNC.
As a freshman, there really isn’t much to mention from a stats perspective, but he did start six games as a true freshman and finished with a line of 17/173/1. His sophomore season (and Sam Howell’s freshman season) is when he really started to shine, putting up 1,034 yards on 51 catches and a team-high 12 receiving touchdowns. That statistical output in his sophomore year gives him a sub-20-year-old breakout age as well, which puts him in the 69th percentile per PlayerProfiler. He followed that up with a damn-near identical junior season, going 55/1,099/8 and averaging 20 yards per catch in back-to-back seasons.
Here is how he stacked up with deep catches 20+ yards downfield in his sophomore and junior seasons (pulled from PFF and includes bowl games but not playoffs):
- 14 receptions – tied 6th
- 573 yards – 6th
- 9 TDs – 2nd
- 12 receptions – tied 4th
- 543 yards – 1st
- 4 TDs – tied 14th
Obviously, with those kinds of deep-ball stats, you gotta like that about his game. You don’t average 20 yards per reception in back-to-back seasons by being lucky or just “alright” in the deep game – his 20.1 YPR is in the 94th percentile. Brown has easy speed and tracks the ball well, both obviously being essentials in deep-ball prowess.
Don’t let these numbers fool you though and have you thinking that he’s “just” a deep-ball receiver. No, no. There’s a lot more to Brown’s game. Let’s take a look at some game clips to show the other aspects I like.
Brown is a sudden route runner with the ability to snap off his routes at the top of his stem with ease and because of the threat of his speed, it creates separation between him and the defender instantly. If corners give him space, he’s able to eat up that cushion quickly and get corners on their heels. Here, against Miami, he shows his separation quickness at the top of his route. He attacks the defender’s “blind spot” and slams on the brakes, creating instant separation. This ball is underthrown or otherwise this play would have been an easy first down.
For being listed at 6’0” and 185 pounds, Brown shows good play strength which you can see in his blocking as well as after the catch. There were a bunch of instances in his game film where he’s breaking tackles and carrying defenders upfield for extra yards.
I don’t particularly care about blocking for wide receivers when it comes to the fantasy side of things, but NFL teams will absolutely value that and Brown showed the ability to dominate corners on some reps.
And just to reiterate: not just a deep-ball guy.
The last thing I’ll note about Brown is he’s a smart route runner and shows some nuance as well. He’s able to find the soft spot in zones and is able to recognize when to stop his route and just sit versus when to keep running and continuing with his route. There was a particular play that stuck out to me where he was running a shallow crossing route and two linebackers were sitting in the middle of the field where his route was supposed to go. Instead of running in front of them with no space, he re-routed and started drifting behind them, upfield, and found himself wide open. It may seem small but these are things you don’t see across the board with college receivers. The other nuance I noticed with Brown is his ability to manipulate his speed throughout his routes. You’ll see him running upfield at what seems like his top speed, but then hits that next gear which catches corners off guard. So we can see these little nuances to his game that will help him develop once he gets to the NFL.
I’ve obviously mentioned his ability as a deep-ball receiver a bunch already, and that’s because he really wasn’t asked to do much else in the Tar Heel offense. His route tree consisted of vertical routes, some crossing routes, some comebacks, and a few slants. That’s literally it. He has a limited route tree but I think he’s shown enough that I’m not worried about him being able to develop that once he gets with an NFL team. The other thing with his route running I’d like to see him expand is his releases at the line of scrimmage. I didn’t notice much variance with them and DBs at the next level will pick that up immediately and make getting off the LOS and into his route much harder. Something that goes along with that is I’d like to see him add some more functional strength DURING his route. He doesn’t get bullied by any means or even bumped off his route stems, but he can get held up at times which allows defenders to stick with him when he would otherwise have created separation.
I think Brown could make a great Robin to another receiver’s Batman. He has a really good all-around game but no traits to make him an alpha and a team’s go-to option week in and week out. With a little more development, Brown can be a reliable flex-level contributor to your fantasy teams with the ability for some boom weeks. Dyami Brown will absolutely be a top-10 receiver for me, even in this talented and deep group.