The fact Notre Dame returns its entire backfield makes the Irish an oddity. In a good way. The Talking Talent series shifts to running back, a position where Notre Dame still has more potential than production.[details]
The Good: A compact runner who displays an explosive first step toward the hole. Showcases good vision with an ability to see the cutback lane. Has an impressive jump cut and gets up to speed quickly. Runs as hard as any running back in the country and plays with absolute reckless abandon for his body. Knows how to carry a heavy load -- a workhorse back who takes good care of his body. The Bad: Needs to learn to run with a better pad level. Has a tendency to get too upright and expose himself to too many hits. More of a straight-line athlete, he struggles making defenders miss at full speed.
Positives: Very natural run instincts and vision - great feel and anticipation for holes uncovering. Is quick to and through the hole and shows a good short-area burst to fit through creases. Can make a defender miss in the hole. Very good balance and foot quickness. Surprising strength and he picks up more yardage after contact than one would expect for a back his size. Good competitive speed to outrun defenders to the endzone. Nifty and can string moves together and create big plays. Plays with awareness. Showed he can carry a full workload. Excellent production. Has soft hands and catches the ball easily outside his frame. Has not absorbed a lot of contact throughout his career and is not easy to hit cleanly. Solid character. Negatives: Lacks girth and is not a powerful tackle-breaker. Can be tracked down from behind and does not have elite finishing speed. Not overly powerful or strong in the hips to power through many tackles after contact. Was not asked to block much. Summary: A solid all-around back who has shown he can be effective running inside or outside, Brown is more quick than he is strong and would be best used on counters, misdirections and in space. However, he has shown he can do everything well and has clear starter potential. Could really excel in a zone-blocking scheme. Grade: Borderline first-round talent.