Welcome to the Bruce Arians era Cardinals fans, where an undersized speed wide receiver is always in play.
That’s what John Brown from little Pittsburg State is, an undersized, elite athlete, who is the true definition of a speed receiver.
The pick will be hammered throughout the internet because many will feel it is a reach, but he is EXACTLY what Bruce Arians likes from his wide receivers.
What can the Cardinals expect?
• SPEED, elite speed, ran a 4.34 40-yard dash.
• Not just straight line speed, but excellent start and stop speed, with the ability to accelerate off the line of scrimmage.
• Has special movement in space, with the ability to stop and start on a dime, and excellent feet.
• Runs very clean routes, with experience with the entire route tree, even with his limited size.
• Despite lean frame, he gained weight and mass each year while in college, is a very cut receiver.
• Special team’s wizard in the return game.
• His lean frame and lack of height can be concerning and despite gaining weight, may be maxed out in his physique.
• Has to get stronger off the line of scrimmage, as he can be bullied off his route.
• Not a threat to break many tackles, more of a space player.
• Drops the ball a little too much and will not get the touches at the NFL level to get the plays to make that up.
This is a consistent trend in Bruce Arians’ teams: small, undersized, wiry, but elite athletic wide receivers late on Day Two. And, he has made those players into stars.
Brown will be an immediate contributor on special teams and will push Ted Ginn Jr. and Jaron Brown as the third receiver on the depth chart.
He’s a legitimate threat to take the top off the defense, with speed to spare, but also isn’t just a straight line athlete.
When John Brown gets his hands on the ball, fans will learn to hold their breath, as any time he touches the ball, special things can happen.
Brown will have to find a way to get stronger off the line, especially in the NFC West with physical cornerbacks, but if he can learn how to get a clean release consistently, the Division II product will become a fan favorite because of his big play ability.