Bryce Brown: What Kind of Impact Can He Make for the Philadelphia Eagles?
Brown is an intriguing young prospect with great size and speed for an NFL running back, but his resume is quite small.
He came out of high school rated higher than this year’s top running back Trent Richardson, and played as a freshman at Tennessee within Lane Kiffin’s zone scheme quite impressively. He tallied 460 yards on 101 carries with three touchdowns while splitting carries with fellow back Monterio Hardesty.
When Kiffin fled to USC, though, Brown decided Tennessee was not the school for him and ultimately, his pro specs took a hit. He carried the ball just three more times in his collegiate career for 16 yards in the 2011 season opener as a member of the Kansas State Wildcats.
Brown chose to leave the team in late September and eventually decided to enter the 2012 draft.
Having very limited experience under his belt is a positive and a negative. There is no question he will require some grooming at the next level as well as some serious work on his general character, but being used so lightly in college could enable him to break into the NFL with much fresher legs than most backs entering the league.
Brown does not have the wear and tear on him that most incoming rookie rushers do, which has to be a plus when considering the short careers many NFL rushers seem relegated to have.
Still, Brown’s talent is raw at best due to his inexperience. Having 104 carries at the collegiate level is hardly a big enough workload to prepare a kid for the NFL regardless of talent level.
But what can be expected of the seventh-rounder as a member of the Eagles roster?
Brown has fantastic speed, posting a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, but he also has the size (6’0”, 223 pounds) and power that Philadelphia should be seeking in a complementary change-of-pace back from LeSean McCoy's lethal lightning-quick rushing style.
Brown could be useful on special teams, possibly as a return man early on. The best way to prove you belong is by performing on special teams, where Brown has his work cut out for him having not really played football since 2009.
With time and practice, Brown has the ability to work his way into the running back rotation and will likely be able to unseat speedy Dion Lewis. He is joining a zone-blocking offense that has taken a big step since shifting to the scheme. Brown has shown a phenomenal ability to excel in such a scheme and could be a productive back.
Ultimately, the extent to which Brown’s career in Philadelphia succeeds rests on his own shoulders. Brown has displayed a dismal attitude in the past and could become trouble again if he feels things are not going his way.
For the former Volunteer back to develop into a successful NFL rusher, he has to be patient. It takes time for a player in his position to make it in the league.
What do you think of the Bryce Brown selection?
It is a stark reality that Brown is not one to wait—perfectly put on display by his threats back in 2009 to join the Canadian Football League.
Having dealt with some of the NFL’s biggest headcases, head coach Andy Reid might be the perfect guy to have Brown fall in his lap.
If he can guide Brown to be a focused, determined, team-first player, there is no reason to believe he cannot fulfill some of the potential he was tabbed with back in 2009 while being a vital contributor for the Eagles in their chase for an NFL championship.
Louis Musto is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter here.
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