In spite of Tim Brown 4.27 recorded time in the 40 at Miami's pro day (which he first mentioned in a radio interview several weeks back), Brown's slight stature will work against his chances of being drafted in the late rounds this week. Doesn't exactly seem fair a Trindon Holliday could be drafted, but that's the way things are looking right now. I understand, but he's still a really good player who deserves chance. As such, I'm grasping at any available straws at the moment to try and make the case for Brown.
One of the perks of the new affiliation with SB Nation is that they have an established relationship with Football Outsiders. I purchased the 2009 Football Outsiders Almanac, and one of the new metrics introduced therein is called Playmaker Score. Outsider Vince Verhei discovered in his research that of receivers drafted in the first or second round between 2001 and 2006, the college statistics that correlated the best with NFL success were yards per catch, touchdowns, total yardage, and total catches.
Hence, the Playmaker Score formula is yards per catch times touchdowns per game. "Hey", I thought. Tim Brown has one of the highest yards per catch out there. Does that mean he'd fare well by the formula? (For the record, no receivers really did last year outside of Michael Crabtree, although DHB was identified as a future mega bust - along with Percy Harvin and Mohamed Massaquoi). I fired off an email to Verhei to see what the numbers said about Brown, and this is what he said.
Tim Brown had a career yards per catch of 19.9, which is very good, but only scored 0.4 touchdowns per game, which is not so good. His Playmaker Score works out to 8.3, which is right above the threshold of the point of no return. Even if he scored a touchdown every single game, though, Brown would be a good example of why Playmaker Score is designed to supplement scouting, not replace it. Start with his schedule -- Howard put up some of his biggest games against teams like Howard, Florida International, and Army. And then there's his size -- he's an inch shorter and 20 pounds smaller than Wes Welker. That will limit his value on special teams. So with Brown, you're left with an undersized guy who put up mediocre numbers against a below-average schedule. I don't see much hope for him.
He's VERY small. There's only been one player 165 pounds or smaller to put a 1,000-yard season in the NFL -- Stacey Bailey, who did it with the Falcons in 1984.
If it makes you feel better, I can sympathize. As a kid I was a huge fan of Mario Bailey of the Washington Huskies. He would light up the preseason every year. But he was 5-foot-9 and 162 pounds, and he never made a regular season roster. He ended up becoming the Jerry Rice of NFL Europe, leading that league in receiving most years.
This is probably where I could stammer, and cite all the context from my earlier post on Brown linked above. Thanks though to Verhei for getting back to me, and be sure to visit Football Outsiders year round for their advanced statistical analysis.