Dominique Brown Player Evaluation

Scout's Dave-Te Thomas breaks down Louisville running back Dominique Brown.

Dominique Brown has a very thick and muscled-up frame with broad shoulders, tight hips, good bubble, thick thighs and calves. For a player of his size, he shows good foot agility and balance. He takes short, pitter-patter steps and demonstrates the loose hips to change direction and come out of his breaks with an explosive up field burst. He is crisp planting and driving in his route cuts and has the feel for the crease and vision to locate the cutback lane. He is a capable receiver that excels on swings and screens, and the team has lined him wide on occasion.

Despite a lack of blazing speed, Brown frequently slips through the line to break tackles for big gains up the middle (27 runs between 10-19 yards in 2013). He has the lower body strength and balance to bounce off tackles and punish his opponents. He shows strength throughout his run to bounce off the initial contact and generates a strong stiff-arm as he runs with authority and fights hard for extra yardage.

Brown has the size, strength, vision, balance and acceleration teams look for in a downhill runner. His talent, however, does not necessarily translate into production, which is the dilemma facing NFL teams – do they judge him on the second half of the 2013 season and his East-West Shrine Game showing, or do they look at the substandard production from his senior season?

A knee injury robbed him of the 2012 season, but he’s proven to be fully recovered. Brown shows the patience to pick and slide laterally. He has the functional burst to and through the hole and generally runs with good pad level, giving defenders little to target other than his knees and shoulder pads. He has that rare size and leg drive to move the pile, along with impressive lateral quickness for a back of his size.

Brown is skilled enough to anticipate the cutback lanes before they appear and capitalizes on them. He has surprising acceleration to break through the first wave of the defense and get to the second level. When cornered, he can deliver a strong stiff-arm in the open field to bat away defenders attempting to drag him down.

As an inside runner, Brown is very instinctive and has excellent vision, as he is able to find the hole consistently. He has the footwork, agility and burst to make the sharp cut once he finds an opening and is able to run through arm tackles. He keeps his feet vs. hard hits and can easily barrel through tacklers to gain yards after contact. Still, he must do a better job of putting both hands on the ball in traffic to prevent fumbling.

While not used much to bounce wide, Brown has the functional speed to be consistent if a team requires him to get to the corner. He shows good ability to avoid tacklers on the move and showed at the East-West Game that he can be a dangerous cutback runner, as he possesses the size and strength to run through defensive backs and linebackers.

Dominique Brown NFL Scouting Combine measurables


6-2/234
32 3/8-inch arm length
9 1/2-inch hands
17 reps

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.

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