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Can Ronnie Brown go from Small School to Big Impact for the Commanders?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2023 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Commanders

Syndication: Herald-Mail Media Andy Mason/Herald-Mail / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ronnie Brown, RB

School: Shepherd | Conference: Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (D2)

College Experience: Junior | Age: ?

Height / Weight: 6’0” / 190 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 6th-UDFA Round

Player Comparison: Tall Danny Woodhead

College Statistics

Courtesy of https://shepherdrams.com/sports/football/roster/ronnie-brown/3769

Player Overview

Ronnie Brown did not travel far when choosing where to play college football. The Baltimore native that played both defensive back and running back in high school headed west to Sheperdstown, West Virginia, to play at Shepherd University. He only got about four carries a game in his first year, but averaged about five yards on those touches. He also made a big impact that year as a kick returner. During a pandemic-impacted season, Brown only played one game. The following year, Brown would put up eye-popping numbers: nine yards a carry, nearly 1,000 yards rushing on just over 100 attempts, and nearly 24 yards per catch. For his final year, Brown nearly doubled many of his stats with almost 1,900 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. Brown was named All-PSAC East First Team in 2021 and 2022, and was a 2022 D2 All-American. According to ProFootballNetwork, the Commanders hosted Ronnie Brown on a top-30 visit.

Strengths

  • Burst, acceleration, and speed pops on tape
  • Displays elusiveness as a runner
  • Shows good contact balance as he absorbs hits
  • Keen vision as a runner, especially when setting up blocks
  • An asset in the short and intermediate passing game
  • Value as kick returner

Weaknesses

  • Runs very upright, rarely gets behind his pads
  • Rarely ever grinds out yards between the tackles
  • Can lose yards looking to bounce runs outside
  • Blocking is inconsistent
  • Level of competition questions

Let’s see his work

How he fits on the Commanders

A lot of people were skeptical of the Commanders adding Brian Robinson, Jr. to the team so early in the draft last year, but he performed admirably after recovering from being shot twice during an attempted carjacking. He’ll be the team’s starting back with Antonio Gibson, who is entering a contract year, spelling him. With Eric Bieniemy possibly using more zone runs, a player like Ronnie Brown that explodes through the line of scrimmage and thrives in space could find success in Bieniemy’s system. If the Commanders add Brown, I suspect him to be a special teamer and possible third-down back for the team. Ultimately, I think they’d like him to replace Antonio Gibson as a threat out of the backfield, in the passing game, and as a returner. Brown will have to show the jump in competition isn’t too big for him, or he’ll end up fighting for a roster spot.