Need for Speed? UNC's Brown Could be Texans' Answer

Dyami Brown has the speed, size and agility to make the Texans a star franchise for years to come
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HOUSTON -- They say one can't teach speed. That's the one thing North Carolina's Dyami Brown won't need to learn at the next level. 

A quarterback's best friend has always been a go-to target. Potential No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft Sam Howell might have to send Brown a thank you card after the success for the past two seasons in Chapel Hill. 

Brown isn't your stereotypical No. 1 target known for the highlight grabs and bulldozing strength. Instead, he relies on speed, agility and strong hands to connect as a the vertical option in the Tar Heels' offense. 

It worked like a charm in both 2019 and 20. Brown recorded over 1,000 yards on each campaign and averaged 20 yards per play. Combined, the 6-1 receiver found the endzone 20 times, 14 of which came on plays of 20 yards or more. 

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The junior from Charlotte proved he's more than just vertical option at the North Carolina's pro day last month. Brown posted a 4.44 40-time to go along with a 35.5 inch vertical in front of scouts at the complex last month. 

Although the numbers were expected to be stronger, his ability to win in coverage and change speed in seconds makes him one of the top receivers prospects of Day 2. 

It also has put the Houston Texans on notice. 

Houston found a way to replace DeAndre Hopkins production last season with Brandin Cooks, who recorded his fifth 1,000-yard season in seven years. His average yard per play? 14.2

The Texans will be looking for the Will Fuller 2.0 to complement the steady-handed Cooks on the outside. The inconsistencies with Fuller were based off injures rather than overall production. 

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When healthy, he was a top-tier vertical option, averaging nearly 15 yards per catch and wining in man coverage on big plays. 

The biggest question mark against Brown will be his route tree at the next level. Most scouts have noticed that while he can win with verticals, slants and out routes, his work across the middle of the field is sporadic. 

Teams can teach things like that once in the building. The good news for Brown is most of his work has been on the outside thus far. 

In his three seasons with North Carolina, only 21 of his 1,028 career snaps were found in the slot, according to Pro Football Focus. Brown also only recorded three drops on 82 targets during the 2020 season. 

Houston will be without a first-and second-round pick come April 29. Talent though finds a way to slip down draft boards and into prime location to begin the third round. 

Defensive issues aside, Houston needs a home run option in the passing game. Should Brown fall, he could be the missing link to the Texans' offense for years to come. 

Scouting measurables: 6-1, 189 pounds, 31.75-inch arms, 9.5-inch hands, 4.44 40-time, 35.5-inch vertical, 18 bench-press reps.

Stats: 11 games, 55 receptions, 1,099 yards, 20.0 yards per catch, eight touchdowns 

Scout Says: "At UNC, Brown has been a deep threat who primarily wins with his athleticism. A very dangerous route-runner on a limited vertical tree, the Tar Heel complements his clean footwork off the line with very impressive linear burst and above-average long speed. Brown generally creates separation in vertical patterns with his burst and spatial awareness. He also runs a particularly effective stop and go route." - SI's NFL Draft Bible

Quote: "The biggest goal for me was to show everybody that I can run routes. My film is basically all deep routes, and I am more than just a deep threat. I can do it all and that’s what I wanted to show today. I wanted to show every team that and that is what I did.” - Dyami Brown following his Pro Day

NFL Comparison: Will Fuller, WR, Miami Dolphins 

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