When I scouted Southern Mississippi receiver Deandre Brown this season, it was for precautionary reasons; I didn't see him leaving for the draft without an excellent, +1,200 yard Junior season, but in case he did leave, I thought I'd better scout him while I actually have footage of a Southern Mississippi game. I don't regret the decision. Because he was immature enough to leave for the draft despite a 4th or 5th round projection.
DeAndre Brown is the biggest wide receiver I have ever scouted; 6'6, 231lbs (even though 231lbs might make him the heaviest receiver in the NFL, considering how tall he is, it isn't actually too much bulk). Brown combines that size with excellent speed (4.43 40 yard dash). That speed and athleticism is seen pretty easily on the field; he also possesses great quickness and shiftiness that allows him to make defenders miss open field tackles. Brown's elusiveness and game breaking speed is pretty well documented by his 16.7 yards per catch, among the highest in the FBS.
I have seen DeAndre Brown in one game so far; the 2009 game against Kansas. He made 4 catches. By only making 4 catches (likely because he got injured during the game), I can't really get a definitive read on how good his hands are. His hands were brilliant in that game, though; he didn't drop a pass, he avoided trapping any balls against his frame (it's easy for him since his hands are like baseball gloves), and he possesses long arms that he used well to catch the ball at its highest point. But he was mediocre at adjusting to the football.
Brown is an average route runner; he shows solid quickness in and out of breaks, he uses his feet well, and he is a natural at using deceptive head fakes to fool even the best defenders in the nation (see: 49 yard catch against Kansas he made right front of Chris Harris). However, he struggles to read opponent's coverage schemes and fund holes in the defense
I know my readers are thinking "how can he be so hard on Terrance Toliver for his stats when Brown only got 50 more yards than Toliver (785 to 735) last season against such a low level of competition". Though he put up an outstanding 1117 yard season during his Freshman year at Southern Mississippi, he was poor during his Sophomore year. Honestly, the bad stats aren't really his fault; this is why his stats are bad: (This is a gross injury. If you are the type to get squeamish, do yourself a favor: don't watch)
DeAndre Brown's Gruesome Injury
I know he ended up only missing one game last year due to the injury. I decided to check how long it takes for a broken tibia to heal. Most said they can walk after six to eleven weeks and the pain is completely gone and the ankle isn't too stiff after about 11 months, depending on the severity of the break. The game in which he broke the tibia was on December 21st, 2008. 11 months later, on November 21st, 2009, he was healthy again. So how did he do when he was finally completely healthy? 3 games, 14 catches, 345 yards, 115 yards per game. After only getting 49 yards per game in his first 9 games, he reverted back to his 08 form and was simply a monster on the field. Clearly his lack of production Junior year was because of all of his injury issues.
In 2010, he put up horrible numbers, due to a leg strain, hamstring pull, and another lower leg injury. He only played in 5 games, and was pretty disappointing.
DeAndre Brown has a lot of character issues. He puts up a poor effort onto the field he is a lazy and apathetic run blocker, he showed immaturity by leaving for the NFL draft despite the fact he could really improve, he ended up at Southern Mississippi only because he didn't have the grades to get into LSU, and he lacks toughness (he's had way too many injuries for all of them to be so painful that he can't play through them).
Brown does have one major flaw that is horribly warranted: durability. Brown has had multiple injuries in his career. When I watched the video I was both disgusted by the injury but also amazed that he could injure himself that badly on a no contact play. Of course there is the broken tibia, but he also had a shoulder injury against Kansas that caused him to miss the game against UAB last year. After seeing a hamstring injury, and then a leg strain, and another lower leg injury hamper his production in 2010, I had to admit that he is the Greg Oden of college football. He already has accumulated more injuries in two years than many players accumulate in an entire NFL career. I must admit, he can't really stay healthy.
Here are some highlights of Brown
Deandre Brown vs. Middle Tennessee State
Overall, I think Brown is a bit of a sleeper solely because of his physical tools and solid potential. I know he has his character issues and durability issues, but it seems like some of the best late round sleepers have character issues (see: Mike Williams, Legarrette Blount). I think the same could happen to Brown.
NFL Comparison: Vincent Jackson