Prospect Watch: Looking at Wide Receivers

<p>The Patriots seem to be closer to establishing the core group of wide receivers who will be competing for passes from Tom Brady in 2005. With the release of Troy Brown and David Patten signing with the Redskins, the Patriots needed to find some players. They did, in David Terrell and Tim Dwight. But will they add to that group in the draft?</p>

Receiver set to leave home and soar high
By Denis Savage

Reggie Brown grew up in the same area that he went to college and now the NFL beckons, set to take away home cooked meals, the tight family and the comforts. It is easy to give those up when you are set to be a first-day pick at the wide receiver spot.

Oddly enough, Reggie Brown cooks his own meals – so he will bring that from his Georgia roots to the team that takes him in the draft.

An All-USA Georgia Player of the Year selection as a high school senior, Brown competed in basketball and track and field, leading each to championships.

Like his high school career, Brown has been busy this offseason. He began the road to the NFL Draft in Mobile, Ala., and the Senior Bowl.

“That gave me a great opportunity to show what I can do against some of the best players in the nation,” Brown said. “I was privileged to be able to play in the Senior Bowl. It’s one of the things you hear year in and year out, about the great players coming out of that bowl game, helping out our draft status.”

He had a good week of practice and took that confidence to the Indianapolis Combine.

Ask him how he fared in front of scouts and he is honest about his disappointment.

“I felt that my 40 time was horrendous,” Brown said.

After logging a 4.51 and 4.59, Brown ran with nubs – special shoes that promote traction – and came in at 4.38 and 4.37, which equates to roughly 4.48 and 4.47.

The increased speed isn’t due to strapping tires to his back. He is a little more conventional and jogs with wrist and ankle weights.

Another test that Brown had to overcome was questions regarding his health. While his workout numbers suggest he is past the torn ACL as a sophomore and hamstring issues as a junior, he still had to get in front of the doctors and prove it – and that is without considering the concussion he suffered at the hands of Junior Rosegreen.

“I’m pretty sure everything checked out,” Brown said. “It was a pretty tedious task, having 32 doctors poking at you. I’m in great physical condition and haven’t had any problems. I had to take those two MRIs, but those were just about the ACL, as a precaution. Everything went good.”

As long as it checks out with the doctors, the focus will turn to the interest level in Brown. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver led the Bulldogs in receptions in 2004, with 53 for 860 yards and six touchdowns.

It is the production that saw him surpass 2,000 total receiving yards in college that has Brown believing his mark will be made on the field and not the trainers’ table.

As a rookie-to-be, Brown isn’t worried about getting the ball. That will come if he puts in the work and knows the playbook, a challenge he is eager to embrace.

“As a receiver, you’re always going to have the opportunity to make plays, catch balls, and score touchdowns. If you’re good enough, they’ll want to get you the ball, and you’ll handle the opportunity.”

Brown has set his goals high – as high as it gets. When he thinks about the player he aspires to be it rivals the best in history. Say the name Jerry Rice and Brown wants his legacy to surpass that.

Not modest by any means, Brown replies, “That’s what I have to shoot for. I’ll try to reach another gap.”

Ironically, San Francisco was one of the first teams to show interest in Brown. He has also received interest from San Diego, Atlanta, Miami, Kansas City, Oakland and Tennessee.

The first step is the NFL Draft – then he can work on taking on Rice one step at a time.

Related: Prospect Profile: Reggie Brown :: Complete 2005 WR Draft Rankings

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