Big things were expected out of Arizona Cardinals receiver John Brown this past season, and the second-year pro delivered.
Brown caught 65 passes for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns, and according to ProFootballFocus.com, he was one of the top 25 breakout players of the 2015 NFL season.
2014 cumulative grade: +0.7 on 715 snaps
2015 cumulative grade: +7.3 on 962 snaps
Brown would be higher on this list but for a disappointing championship game performance. Still, his production in his second year was impressive. He caught 20 more passes, improved his catch percentage from 52.5 to 62.6, caught two more scores, and broke six more tackles, taking both tallies to seven. Brown stepped up during Michael Floyd’s absence, staking his claim for a starting berth.
Brown did struggle in Arizona’s 49-15 NFC Championship Game loss to the Carolina Panthers, catching two of the eight passes thrown in his direction for 23 yards, but he was not alone in posting a disappointing performance that night in Charlotte.
But one bad night does not erase all of what the 25-year-old accomplished in his second professional season, one in which he paired with Larry Fitzgerald to become the first Cardinals receiving duo to each amass at least 1,000 yards since Fitz and Anquan Boldin accomplished the feat in 2009.
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