Southern Miss football recently enjoyed its first victory for new coach Will Hall, by beating Grambling State 37-0.

But here's why Alabama is favored by 45 points, per SI Sportsbook: The Golden Eagles opened with a 31-7 loss to South Alabama, and are coming off a 21-9 setback to Troy.  

Quarterback Trey Lowe, a transfer from West Virginia, suffered a "lower extremity" injury against Grambling, and freshman Ty Keyes has stepped in. 

Nether quarterback has been able to connect much with wide receiver Jason Brownlee, who led the team last year with 34 catches for 610 yards and five receptions while averaging 17.9 yards per reception. 

Instead, the biggest offensive weapon so far has been running back Frank Gore Jr., who rushed 21 times for 162 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown against Grambling. It was a career high, topping his 130 yards against North Texas in 2020.

Come draft time, some teams will project Brownlee to be a defensive back at the next level, but obviously as a project. 

Jason Brownlee

Jersey: No. 1
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6-3
Weight: 202
DOB: 1/30/99
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: West Point, Mississippi
High School: West Point

Background

Graduated in 2018 and went to East Mississippi Community College where he exploded into one of the best wideouts in the nation. Earned NJCAA All-America first-team honors while leading the nation in receptions. Transferred to Southern Miss in 2020 and led the team in receptions. Named to C-USA honorable mention list this past season.

Pros

Good size for an outside corner, Brownlee measures in at 6-2, 192 pounds. His length stands out immediately at the line of scrimmage. Uses his hands to extend and gain leverage off release. Good release package against press, feet are quick. Long strider, mixes his hands in throughout his stem to stack and outside corners downfield. Fluid athlete for his size doesn’t have a problem changing speeds or direction. Will drop his hips and stop on a dime on hitch routes. Hands are reliable down the sidelines and in tight areas. Does extend and pull in passes outside his frame.

Cons

Lacks explosiveness as an athlete, doesn’t have burner speed to win deep downfield with separation. Missing that extra gear to pull away from corners. Hasn’t faced any quality corners coming from JUCO going to C-USA. Noticed that he slows down just a bit coming across the middle of the field. Wasn’t used inside the hashes too much, limited as an outside threat. Route tree was basic, relying on nine routes and contested catches. Has the tools to grow as a route runner, but haven’t seen it in-game.

Summary

JUCO star turned No. 1 wideout for Southern Miss, Brownlee has the chops to make it in the NFL. His frame and skillset will be intriguing to teams and hopefully, he will get his opportunities as a Senior Bowl guy. A week against stronger corners will go a long way for his draft stock. Brownlee is a name to watch this season as he could slowly become late day three favorite.

Grades

5.8 (current value)/ 6.6 (potential value) 

BamaCentral Analysis 

For Brownlee to have a big day against the Crimson Tide he'll have to win leverage and work his body against Alabama's cornerbacks, because he's probably not going to outrun them. The other part of the equation is the quarterback, and whether Southern Miss can work the ball to him in that capacity (or has the necessary time to pass much). So far this season he has eight receptions for 44 yards, which translates to 5.5 yards per catch. Brownlee also only has one touchdown, on a team that's connected for just two in the air this season, and his longest play so far is just for 12 yards.

Southern Miss football recently enjoyed its first victory for new coach Will Hall, by beating Grambling State 37-0.

But here's why Alabama is favored by 45 points, per SI Sportsbook: The Golden Eagles opened with a 31-7 loss to South Alabama, and are coming off a 21-9 setback to Troy.  

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