North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown enters the 2021 NFL draft after becoming the first pass-catcher in Tar Heels history to record two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in his career and tied for the second-most career receiving touchdowns (21). In a draft class loaded with top-tier wide receiver prospects, Brown will offer a team solid value after the first wave or wideouts are off the board.
Brown joined the Tar Heels program after a four-star high school career at West Mecklenberg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. The recipient of 16 scholarship offers, Brown chose North Carolina over programs like Ohio State, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Michigan. He was rated the No. 32 overall receiver prospect in the nation by ESPN, and the No. 20 overall wideout by Rivals.
Brown appeared in 10 games as a freshman in 2018 (with two starts) before breaking out as a sophomore in 2019. He finished that season with 51 catches for 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns, setting the stage for another productive year as a junior when he totaled 55 catches for 1,099 yards and eight scores in 11 games in 2020. Brown finished his final season as a First Team All-ACC selection and a Third Team All-American. For his career, Brown totaled 123 catches for 2,306 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Physically, Brown possesses an average build at 6-1, 195 pounds. He has the necessary size to play as an outside receiver in the NFL, but he won’t be an intimidator or an imposing physical presence by any means.
Athletically, Brown has impressive straight-line speed to make plays downfield and enough twitch and lateral agility to win reps off the snap. He’s very good at creating instant separation when he gets a clean release.
Brown is an untested route-runner at this point in his development because of the limited route tree he ran at UNC, but there are enough quality reps on tape to feel confident in his ability to be a productive vertical-route player. He runs his routes at maximum effort and has the ability to trick defenders with quick jab steps and hesitation moves. The top of his route can get a little cleaner (he rounds off a bit), but that should come with more time and coaching.
Brown’s hands are a tad unreliable, especially in contested-catch situations. He doesn’t have the strength needed to secure a catch in traffic which suggests his ability to produce in the NFL could be limited to downfield shots. He does a nice job tracking the long ball and has little trouble locating and securing over-the-shoulder passes, even when they’re a bit off-target.
Brown is a high-effort player in the run game who often finishes key third-level blocks that spring big gains. He was a key part of North Carolina’s ridiculously productive rushing attack and it’s a part of his game that will earn high marks in scouting departments across the league.
Overall, Brown profiles as a depth receiver with a chance to earn a role as a vertical weapon in an NFL offense. He could certainly develop into more than that as he expands his route-running chops, and his athleticism suggests he’ll be able to do that. For now, a team that drafts Brown will do so with an understanding that his floor is that of a big-play target, and while those guys have value in the league, they usually come off the board after the more well-rounded pass-catchers. Brown is a nice early Day-3 target for offenses looking to add a big-play dimension to their receiver room.
GRADE: 6.0 (fifth round)