— Sports

Dyami Brown draws ‘steal of the draft’ label. Did Washington get another gem in the third round?

As Dyami Brown’s name was called in the third round, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah gave out a player comparison that caught the attention of plenty of Washington fans.

“You see, the comparison there is Terry McLaurin,” Jeremiah said. “Exciting seeing where he ends up going.” Brown, of course, went to Washington — where he’ll now be teammates with McLaurin, the team’s star receiver. The franchise used the 82nd overall pick on Brown, a vertical threat with great speed outside. And coincidentally,  McLaurin was also picked in the third round, albeit six picks before, at No. 76. Sound familiar?

McLaurin turned out to be a giant steal for Washington. So did running back Antonio Gibson, the team’s third-round pick last year, which led Washington in rushing yards. Now, Washington hopes it continues its recent track record of finding gems in the third with Brown — or cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, taken by Washington at No. 74. Brown’s selection, in particular, was heavily praised. Pro Football Focus labeled the pick as one of the steals of the draft — touting that Brown was the 45th player ranked on their board. ESPN’s Mel Kiper also had the North Carolina product projected to go much earlier, somewhere in the 40s.

Dyami Brown

Coach Ron Rivera did little to temper expectations, saying he was glad Brown fell.

“I’m very excited about it because in the third round if you let the board do its job if you believe in the way it’s been set … you’re going to get the steal,” Rivera said. “Your grade may not reflect others. He’s the guy you believe in.” Several stats jump out when looking at Brown. He was one of 23 receivers in the nation to average more than 19 yards per catch last season — and he had more total yards than anyone on the list. His total 1,099 receiving yards also ranked sixth in the nation in 2020.

But what caught Rivera’s eye was the sturdiness of Brown’s hands. The 21-year-old dealt with drops in North Carolina, but Rivera said they were “concentration drops” due to a lack of focus. According to Pro Football Focus, Brown never dropped a contested target with the Tar Heels in three years.

“Man, when he competed for it, he went out and got it,” Rivera said. “I like how he runs his routes, gets off the line of scrimmage, and can stack the defender right away and use his speed to keep his body and keep the ball between himself and the defender. Brown will need time to develop. He told reporters he had a limited route in college, not running many intermediate routes — curls, digs, slants. Brown spent the last few months working on his technique for those concepts and getting adjusted to playing on the right side of the field. At North Carolina, Brown mostly lined up as the “X” receiver on the left.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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