A downhill runner with the frame to withstand the physicality of the NFL, running back Spencer Brown is an intriguing late-round prospect. Involvement in the passing game is more important than ever before for running backs at the next level and while Brown has room to grow in that regard, he has plenty of talent as a pure runner.
Measuring in at 5-foot-11 and weighing 220 pounds, Brown appeared in 47 games across four seasons for Alabama-Birmingham. He exploded for 1,329 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his freshman season. He posted double-digit rushing touchdowns in three of his four college seasons. After being on the Doak Walker Award watch list in his freshman season, he went on to be first-team All-Conference USA in 2018 and second-team All-Conference USA in 2020. He holds school records for rushing yards (4,011), rushing touchdowns (41) and total touchdowns (42).
Film Review: Strengths and Weaknesses
A true throwback player at a position that has changed monumentally over the last few years, Brown shows off excellent vision as a ball-carrier. He has the frame capable of handling a lead-back workload and the first would-be tackler rarely brings him down. He has a nose for the end zone, as evidenced by his three seasons of double-digit rushing touchdowns, with no better example than his 10 rushing scores in just eight games in 2020.
The lack of involvement in the passing game that Brown has shown throughout his career is troubling for his prospects as a three-down back at the next level, as he has never had more than eight receptions in a season. While he will have to improve in the passing game to have a chance to stick as a lead runner in the NFL, his vision alone will give him a chance to stick on an NFL roster. Brown’s landing spot will influence his fantasy value significantly, but he is a player worth monitoring for fantasy managers looking for the next running back diamond in the rough.
The Carolina Panthers added Brown as an undrafted free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft.
To have a shot of making the 53 man roster for the Panthers, Brown will need to have an excellent training camp. The Panthers invested a draft pick on Chuba Hubbard as the backup to Christian McCaffrey and it would likely take multiple injuries for Brown to see any fantasy impact. For now he is a name best left for monitoring in deep leagues rather than investing rookie draft capital on him.
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