Illinois Running Back Chase Brown 2023 NFL Draft scouting report
Football is very much a team game but if there is one person many Illinois football fans were looking at as the main contributor to the team’s success, it was Chase Brown. Illinois had an incredible defensive year but Chase Brown had an historic year at tail back as Illinois was ranked again and was poised to play for the Big 10 title until the wheels fell off late in the season.
Chase Brown played all 12 games this year, besides the bowl game since he had declared for the draft prior. He had 328 carries with 1,643 yards with an average of 5 yards per carry in those 12 games. He had 10 rushing TD’s and averaged 136.9 rushing yards per game. He had 27 catches for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns as well.
Along with his stellar offensive statistics came the notorious college award nominations. The list of nominations goes on and on. The most important ones include the Doak Walker Award where Brown was one of three nominated as the best running back in the country. He was a Maxwell Award semifinalist as one of the top 20 offensive players in the country. Brown was a Walter Camp semifinalist as one of the best overall college football players in the country. Chase Brown is the only Illinois running back to ever be a finalist for the Doak Walker Award.
As of now it seems the Chicago Bears will be parting ways with David Montgomery who was good for the Bears but was never great due to injuries piling up. Chase Brown is certainly a player that the Bears could use. Not a first round guy or even the second round but if he falls to the 3rd or preferably the 4th it could be worth it to take him. Brown can very obviously run the football, but he is a good pass catcher where that has become necessary for running backs these days.
Lets get into the scouting report for Chase Brown where we will look at strengths, weaknesses and if he is a fit for the Chicago Bears in 2023.
Position: Running Back
Height/Weight: 5 foot 11, 205 pounds
Career Stats: 328 rushes, 1,643 yards, 10 rushing TD’s, 27 catches, 240 yards and 3 receiving TD’s.
- His initial burst is excellent, he can play pro style traditional formation or out of shotgun next to the quarterback.
- He is very effective in catch-and-run situations as Brown can take the top off the defense.
- He is a natural pass catcher where he is extremely effective in the screen game with his upfield speed as well as effective on wheel routes.
- His vision is outstanding being able to understand when to hit the hole or wait for development. Great one-cut back.
- His route tree is limited beyond wheels and screens
- He is shaky in pass protection, he can make the right read but relies on cut blocks. If he does stay up he lunges or ducks his head.
- Not physically imposing. Smaller frame.
We need to talk more about Chase Brown in this 2023 RB Draft class.
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) January 12, 2023
We can talk about how Chase Brown had 1,600+ rushing yards in 2022, but don't forget what he can do as a receiver out of the backfield.
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) January 12, 2023
How does Chase Brown fit with the Chicago Bears?
As was mentioned earlier with David Montgomery, supposedly he is not returning to the Bears so who knows what that backfield will be. As of current Khalil Herbert is the main man but it doesn’t seem like he can carry the load all himself. If there is one thing the Bears could use to be more effective is a passing game through the running back. It will protect Fields more as it is a quick pass and it could do wonders opening up the rest of the offense as Montgomery and Herbert weren’t amazing in receiving this past season.
Chase Brown isn’t generational where he needs to be taken right away in the first round. I think he is much better than many “draft experts” like to believe but of course we never know until they play. Running backs are unfortunately disposable so to speak around the league. Theres only a few best of the best that even last more than a few years. Considering so many mock drafts have Chase Brown in the 5th round I think he could be a great fit for the Bears if he falls to the 4th round since they currently have two fourths.
Brown played for Illinois and if you have watched him during his time at Illinois, Bears fans will love him just the same as they did in Champaign.
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