2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Chase Brown

  • Chase Brown, 5-10/209

  • Running Back

  • Illinois

  • Chase Brown Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Strong build and size
  • Straight-line speed
  • True power back
  • Forceful North-South runner
  • Keeps legs going after contact
  • Consistently breaks tackles
  • Finishes runs well
  • Burst to the hole
  • Drags tacklers
  • Decisive runner
  • Doesn’t dance in the backfield
  • Zero hesitation to pound the ball into the defense
  • Has a nose for the end zone
  • Wears down defenses
  • Runs well in the second half
  • Capable of controlling games
  • Durable
  • Ready to contribute immediately
  • Good fit for a zone-blocking system
  • Good knee bend
  • Runs behind his pads
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Good speed, but not elite
  • Will need development as a receiver
  • Not very elusive
  • Will have to learn NFL blitz protection

  • Summary: During his time at Wisconsin and Arkansas, head coach Brett Bielema always utilized a physical rushing offense. Thus, it was no surprise that he established a similar identity quickly with the Illini. Brown was the player who Bielema used to get the program’s ground game going, as he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,005 yards and five touchdowns. He also took 14 receptions for 142 yards. In 2022, Brown averaged 5.0 yards per carry on his way to 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had 27 catches for 240 yards and three scores as well.

    As a runner, Brown is a downhill physical force. He is a true North-South power back who plows over defenders and consistently picks up yards after contact. With his power, strength and physicality, Brown was dangerous in short-yardage and goal-line situations, displaying no fear to hit the hole with authority. Brown does a fantastic job of keeping his legs churning after contact. He is a decisive runner who charges downfield and is not one to dance in the backfield. Brown displays zero hesitation to stick his nose into a scrum and power through the defense to generate positive yardage. His strength allows him to finish runs well, and he regularly will drag tacklers behind him.

    Brown is a true North-South runner who is a one-cut downhill force. However, he is not a super-elusive back who is going to dodge and juke defenders. He would fit a zone-blocking scheme as a one-cut downhill tailback, but he is a not a running back who is going to create a lot for himself.

    As a receiver, Brown does a nice job for a bigger back. He flashed the ability to contribute in the receiving game during 2022, putting up quality production. Like all college backs, Brown will need development in blitz protection, but he is a willing blocker who has the potential to be a good contributor in that phase.

    Brown will probably end up going in the mid-rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. He has starting ability and could be a steal.

    Player Comparison: Jamaal Williams. In terms of running style, Brown reminds me of Williams (6-0, 224). Both are powerful, physical, downhill runners who bull through tacklers. Williams was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft coming out of BYU, and Brown could go in that range this year during the 2023 NFL Draft.


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