High School and College Career
Chase Brown, from St. Stephen’s Episcopal High School, was rated as a 3-star recruit and went on to play football for Western Michigan University.
As a freshman in 2018, Brown made appearances in 13 games for the Broncos, rushing for 345 yards on 71 attempts, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and making no touchdowns. Brown’s performance in the passing game was also low, with only 10 receptions for 75 yards.
Brown transferred to the University of Illinois the following year and played in only one game during his sophomore year. In that game, he rushed for 18 yards on 3 carries.
Brown’s junior year saw him play in eight games for the Fighting Illini, where he rushed for 538 yards on 102 attempts with an excellent 5.3 yards per carry. Brown scored three touchdowns and did not fumble. His performance in the passing game was limited, making only seven receptions for 64 yards.
During his senior year, Brown played in 10 games and had an outstanding season, running for 1005 yards on 170 carries, an excellent 5.9 yards per carry. He had five touchdowns and only one fumble. His performance in the passing game was also notable as he had 14 receptions for an outstanding 142 yards.
As a fifth-year senior in 2022, Brown played in 12 games and had an outstanding performance yet again. He ran for an excellent 1632 yards on 329 attempts, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Brown finished with ten touchdowns but had five fumbles during the season. In the passing game, he demonstrated excellent skills, making 27 receptions for 240 yards.
Chase Brown Scouting Report Introduction
Chase Brown is a high-volume runner with ample speed who took important steps in 2022 to showcase himself as capable of carrying a significant workload for periods of time if needed. He may not be a true mismatch, do-it-all type of back, but his home-run hitting abilities and track speed make him a great fit for outside-zone-heavy teams looking to freshen their running back stable.
Brown’s background is rooted in athleticism. He grew up with a father who played three seasons in the Canadian Football League, giving him a clear eye and feel for the game. Brown himself had an impressive high school career, averaging nearly 16 yards per carry with 1,500 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior while also anchoring his team’s 4×100 state championship relay team. He began his college career at Western Michigan but eventually transferred to Illinois.
On the field, Brown is a dynamic and explosive runner whose track speed is evident when he has soft edges or when he presses through the defense’s first level. He’s quick to break angles of pursuit in the secondary, which made it easy for him to gouge defenses on a regular basis en route to a career year with Illinois in 2022. He was given the feature runner role, which he handled decisively, effectively processing action in the front, both on the first and second levels of the defense.
Brown’s quick footwork allows him to set up tacklers and remain patient on his runs, pressing the line of scrimmage, and forcing defenders to commit to gaps before breaking against their commitment and into space. He has also improved as a pass-catcher, logging nearly half of his career receptions and receiving yards and all of his receiving touchdowns in 2022. He has been used in the screen game and on swing and rail routes out of the backfield, where he showed a feel for capturing the edge and functional athleticism, setting himself up for big plays.
However, Brown has some areas in which he needs improvement, such as between the tackles and in short-yardage situations. He has yards after contact, but he is not a consistent pile-pusher or runner who plays through contact. Defenders can box him in and stifle him. He needs to become a better striker in the role of pass protection to command reps consistently. Additionally, he needs to embrace contact and fight for tough yards through traffic instead of bouncing to the perimeter, leaving tough opportunities on the field.
Overall, Brown is a scheme and fit-dependent player who will not have the same kind of success in every environment. He has the potential to be an impact ball carrier in the right system, especially if paired with a physical back to handle short-yardage situations. As a well-balanced player, Brown still has room to grow and improve, but he can be an obvious role filler as a rookie.
Chase Brown is an exceptional running back with a wide range of skills both as a runner and a receiver. His initial burst is excellent, allowing him to explode through the line and make big gains on the ground. He is equally adept at running out of a traditional setup or taking the ball lined up next to a quarterback in shotgun, giving his team versatility in their offensive formations.
What sets Brown apart from other running backs is his ability to be a threat in the passing game as well. He is a natural hands catcher who turns upfield quickly on screen passes, making him a valuable asset for his team. His passing game skills extend further as he has a great feel for setting up wheel routes and shows a good feel for catching and transitioning upfield. He is a quality receiver with soft hands and he is capable of making an impact in the passing game.
His vision is another strength, showing an innate understanding of when to go and when to wait for blocks to develop. Brown’s ability to wait for the right moment and react quickly once it presents itself makes him a talented one-cut back. He is always aware of his surroundings and is able to navigate through defenders with ease.
One of the areas that Brown has struggled with is his route tree. A limited route tree means that Brown doesn’t have the skills spped to execute a wide range of routes effectively.
Another area of concern for Brown is his pass protection skills. He is capable of making the correct reads during pass protection, but he relies too heavily on cut blocks. He lacks the physicality to take pass rushers on without a cut block. He has the tendency to duck his head and lunge when making a play. He’s not physically imposing, with a small frame and limited ability to carry more weight.
Chase Brown is the 143rd prospect on our draft big board.