As we inch closer and closer to the 2023 NFL Draft, running backs are dropping like flies. The NFL is seeing a new running back get injured weekly at this point, so I turn my attention to the college backs. One name specifically, Chase Brown of Illinois is leading the pack!
Shouldn’t be much of a surprise, to any stat watchers at least. Chase Brown, the talented Illinois running back has dominated thus far in 2022 (stats below). He’s done it with big runs, showing his ability to break it outside and beat defenders or inside and run over tacklers.
Chase Brown – His Story So Far…
He’s an interesting 3-Star prospect from Bradenton, Florida. Spent one year at Western Michigan before transferring to Illinois and has flown under the radar since. Brown has good size at 5’11” and over 200lbs. to be a running back at the next level and on pace to set career numbers in 2022. He’s only had 348 rushing attempts prior to 2022, so he has plenty left in the tank for an NFL team.
Chase Brown – 2022 and Beyond!
Here’s a sample of his 2022 work, there is plenty to watch (and love). He does a good job following his blockers and works well between the tackles or outside. Also, he lets the play develop and then explodes through the hole at any given moment.
He’s got a powerful frame that can handle the workload, take a hit and keep on pounding. Also, his cut move can be lethal, he makes plenty of defenders miss when he plants that leg and goes. He can catch well out of the backfield, if anything the quarterback is what hinders this team. If an opposing defense can stifle the run, they have a hard time winning with QB play.
Teams tend to look for backs that can do all things, and one of those things is blocking. This is an area that can hinder if a team has you on the field all three downs or not. Brown can block, though there are times on tape where he will fall in front of the defender, that needs work.
Chase Brown – NFL Bound?
Like most articles I’ve written thus far, the jury is still out here. I will say there is plenty of 2022 reps to watch, and what I’ve watched looks to me the part of an NFL running back. He’s faced weaker teams and dominated, faced stronger teams, and been fine as well. Wisconsin and Iowa are no slouches, and he looked good against both.
With NFL teams having 3,4 or even 5 backs on the roster (practice squad as well), Brown should easily be in consideration for a spot. When you think of the last backs to make the league from Illinois (Mikel Leshoure and Pierre Thomas), it’s not like they can’t produce NFL talent.
If I had to guess, Brown is probably a day three prospect today, at least. If he keeps up his pace, I’d say he pushes for round 3/4 but we know the NFL sees running backs differently because of their shelf life. I can see this guy being used in early down work or as a pass catcher out of the backfield. When you watch his pass-catching reps, he doesn’t wait for the ball to hit his body much, if at all.
Any questions or just want to keep the conversation going, hit me up on Twitter Feel free to @ me or DM me and we can talk more about him and the rest of the 2023 NFL Draft, and don’t forget to check out our Mock Draft’s here on Draft Countdown!