Brown, an undrafted free-agent out of Colorado from the 2020 NFL Draft class, comes in with favorable measurables, standing at 6-foot-1-inch and weighing a smidge under 200-pounds. Good enough to already entrench him as one of Big Blue’s taller receivers on their depth chart.
However, it’s Brown’s production from his Colorado days that make him an exciting developmental player for Daniel Jones and the G-Men’s passing attack.
Brown Gave Shenault Jr. a Run for His Money as Colorado’s WR1
Giants fans may know Laviska Shenault Jr. as the prospect who Pro Football Focus compared to Saquon Barkley. Others likely caught wind of the highly-thought of receiver prior to last college football season when Bleacher Report anointed him the next Julio Jones. However, you crumble it, the new Jacksonville Jaguars receiver was a blue-chip prospect in many’s eyes prior to injury concerns forcing him to slide to the second-round of last April’s NFL Draft.
Yet, during Shenault Jr.’s final season with the Buffaloes his production was nearly met, and in some categories surpassed, by the UDFA Brown.
Brown spent the first two seasons of his college career at Texas Tech, where he was used sparingly, catching a combined 27 passes and just one touchdown from 2015 through 2016. However, Brown’s career took a turn for the best when the California native opted to transfer back west and play out his final two years of eligibility at Colorado.
In 2018, his first season with the Buffs, Brown posted then career-highs in receptions (32) and yards (333) only to crush those numbers 2019. Brown finished this past season with 707 receiving yards on 56 receptions, tied for the team lead alongside Sheanult. His five touchdowns on the season outpaced all Colorado pass-catchers, including Shenault.
According to NFLMocks.com, Brown improved his reception percentage from slightly over 50% while at Texas Tech to nearly 67% his first year at Colorado. In 2019, that number jumped another 13%.
Brown is clearly not the athletic specimen that Shenault is, his 4.65 40-yard dash at this year’s combine demonstrate that. His lack of speed also led to struggles separating at times while at Colorado. With that said, his production along with the school’s willingness to feature him in the passing game, even while playing alongside a player who at the time many pegged as a future top-10 lock, speaks volumes to the trust they had in him.
In New York, Brown will not only have to earn Daniel Jones’ trust if he hopes to hold on to a roster spot, but also beat out a plethora of fellow receivers in the midst. Brown joins the likes of Corey Coleman, Da’Mari Scott, Cody Core, Amba Etta-Tawo, Alex Bachman, David Sills, as well as UDFAs Austin Mack, Victor Binjimen and Derrick Dillon in a battle for the final two or three WR spots.
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Giants Make Catanzaro Signing Official
Brown wasn’t the only move that Big Blue made on Saturday. The team inked versatile o-lineman Nick Gates to a two-year contract extension, while also finding time to officially announced the signing of kicker Chandler Catanzaro.
Catanzaro is currently slated to serve as the replacement of ex-Pro Bowler Aldrick Rosas, who the Giants released last week as fallout from his alleged hit-and-run accident back in June.
Catanzaro, 29-years-old, has played five seasons in the NFL, accumulating a highly-respectable career field-goal percentage of 83.8% over that span. During his playing career, he’s had multiple stops with the New York Jets as well as playing with the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals.
His most productive campaigns came while playing in the desert. Catanzaro broke the Cardinals’ rookie record for points in a single season with 114 back in 2014. He then followed that season up with 137 points the following year.