When the San Diego Chargers selected receiver Vincent Brown in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft, many considered the union a smart one.
Brown, who was widely viewed as an NFL-ready receiver, was falling into one of the better passing offenses in the game in San Diego.
An up-and-down, injury-hampered season later, Brown is hoping to build on that premise in 2012.
But is Brown worth a pick in your fantasy football draft before 2012? That's up for discussion.
In the following slides, we'll give you five reasons why you should consider it.
You can only draw so much from May practices without pads, but Brown was one of the Chargers' standout players from organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Brown was as impressive as he could have been, given the circumstances.
On offense, wide receiver Vincent Brown consistently stood out—as much as one can in May while dressed in shorts without shoulder pads—including a one-handed grab downfield.
Impressive offseasons don't always translate into the next season—there's actually plenty of evidence that says it means much less than people usually consider—but Brown's performance in OTAs and minicamp was a good starting point to his 2012.
Brown missed most of his first NFL training camp with a quadriceps injury, and when combined with the lack of an true offseason because of the lockout, Brown's impact early was non-existent.
Through eight weeks, Brown had just two total catches for 26 yards.
But starting in Week 9 against Green Bay, Brown started getting comfortable. He caught four passes for 79 yards against the Packers and then went for five and 97 with a touchdown at home vs. Oakland a week later.
Brown caught just one touchdown the rest of the way, and his 50 yards in Week 12 was far and away his best performance through the final six or so weeks. But Brown's midseason flashes should be enough to consider him as a fantasy option in 2012.
Brown may be the Chargers' fourth receiver on the depth chart, but the three players he follows have checkered histories.
Malcolm Floyd has played a full 16-game schedule just once in his NFL career (2009), and Eddie Royal has missed time in three of his four seasons in Denver. Robert Meachem was frustratingly inconsistent for most of his time with the high-powered New Orleans Saints.
At some point, Brown figures to see starting action when either Floyd, Royal or Meachem inevitably misses time or struggles. You might want to wait until that time comes, but Brown also might be worth stashing just in case.
Any fantasy team's final pick or two should be reserved for a high-upside player that could surprise. Brown fits into that category.
According to ESPN, Brown is going undrafted in most drafts, and he's the 69th ranked receiver overall. He'll be available when your last pick comes up.
Considering there's definitely upside with Brown in 2012, taking him and stashing him on your bench doesn't seem like the worst idea.
If there's any reason to consider Brown in your draft, it may be the man throwing him footballs—Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
There's no doubt Rivers had a down year in 2011—it was likely his worst year as the Chargers' starter—but expecting a rebound is more realistic than guessing another stinker is coming.
And if there's a rebound from Rivers in 2012, numbers for the receivers will follow. Considering the few games last season when Rivers and Brown had a connection, it's conceivable to think Brown could surprise in 2012.