The name Noah Brown resonates heavily to a certain degree in the dynasty community. There are not many truthers aboard the Brown-Bymaster express, but those who purchased the long-distance, one-way ticket to the promised land will be the few who reap the rewards for the next several years.
Brown is entering his sophomore season with the Dallas Cowboys and is looking to build off a quiet rookie campaign. While the 2017 Cowboys offense was based around Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten, there was not much room to give looks to a growing, potential-filled rookie receiver in Brown. Secondary pieces such as Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley also provided mediocre depth for the attempted playoff run in Dallas.
Fast forward to the offseason, and the Cowboys perform the relatively unexpected and cut superstar receiver Bryant. After contract talks broke down, where he refused to take a pay cut, general manager Jerry Jones decided the best direction for the team was to cut the former All-Pro player. With Bryant officially out of the picture, the wide receiver depth chart was one of the worst in the league. Most media members looking at the receiver depth chart saw Williams, Beasley, and newly signed Allen Hurns, but they never considered the current prospects on the roster, such as Brown.
Heading into the 2017 Draft, the position was expected to be addressed with the strong possibility of taking D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton, or Calvin Ridley in the first round. With their first two selections in the Draft, Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett addressed other positions, taking projectable linebacker Leighton Vander Esch from Boise State in the first round and hometown offensive lineman Connor Williams in the second. Finally, in the third round, Michael Gallup from Colorado State was added to the wide receiver group, which immediately skyrocketed his dynasty value from a borderline third round pick to a late first-round selection.
Throughout all of free agency and the entirety of the Draft, Dallas did not make a splash addition. Hurns, Gallup, and sixth-round pick Cedrick Wilson were the most significant additions to the group. Because of the small additions, someone important in the organization, whether it be Jones, Garrett or receiver’s coach Sanjay Lal believes in the youth of the position. This sought for youth has the potential to make a splash and contribute as a key player in the offense. Noah Brown is that player for Dallas.
The Scouting Report
Standing at 6’2” 222 pounds, Brown uses his size well in all aspects of his game. From being one of the best run-blocking wide receivers in the game to boxing out opposing cornerbacks in the short areas of the field, Brown is every bit of his size and knows how to use it. He high-points the ball very well and is an excellent red zone threat. Brown is a savvy route runner who knows how to create separation at the top of his routes. He shows a good feel for sitting down in zone coverage and is comfortable playing across the middle. He fights through press coverage at the line of scrimmage using his strong hands and thick frame. His big-play ability flashes across all areas of the field, despite not having burner-like speed. Entering the 2017 NFL Draft, Brown was my WR3 behind only Corey Davis and Mike Williams.
Though he missed his entire sophomore season at Ohio State, Brown jumped back in during his junior year and showed his ability to win in the red zone as well as over the middle. [See 2016 games against Michigan and Oklahoma.]
Why He Will Contribute Going Forward
The Cowboys offense will look drastically different in 2018 after losing Witten to the Monday Night Football booth and Bryant to cap casualty. Prescott will roll out with Elliott behind him, Beasley in the slot, Hurns at Z-receiver, and Brown at X-receiver. The question now is “why Noah Brown over Michael Gallup?” Gallup is a good football player who works well down the field. He needs to be coached up a bit before contributing for the Cowboys, in that his route running needs to be polished and he needs to finish routes. He will likely not be the first target on many plays, so running the entire route and finishing needs to happen for Prescott to look his way during a game. Brown, on the other hand, excels at not giving up on routes and working back to the ball when needed.
At the least, Brown will excel in the run-blocking game, which will consistently earn him reps throughout the 2018 season and beyond. In the passing game, look for him to excel in the red zone and be Prescott’s first target, now that Bryant and Witten are a thing of the past.
What is His Current Value and What Should I Pay to Acquire Him?
Brown’s current price is a third-round pick at best. The easiest way to acquire him is to package him into a bigger deal, where the opposing dynasty owner is merely looking to completing the trade. I would feel comfortable paying a 2019 2nd in exchange for Brown straight up. Imagine the 2018 preseason games where Brown takes first-team reps with Prescott. Should he even remotely impress, his dynasty value and price will exponentially rise. Buy Noah Brown now, and watch him develop into one of the best investments in dynasty history.