Football Team

Hailey: Dyami Brown wants to show he's an all-around threat

Football Team

From the night the Washington Football Team selected him 82nd overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Dyami Brown has been fixated on showing his all-around game at receiver.

While at North Carolina, Brown turned opposing defensive backs into toast so often on straight-line deep routes, it was like he was working at a Chapel Hill breakfast diner every weekend. In both his sophomore and junior campaigns, he averaged a silly 20 yards-per-reception. 

Since putting on the Burgundy and Gold, though, Brown's spoken to the media a few different times, and on each occasion, he's been open about his desire to attack corners in multiple ways. "I understand you have to be more than one-dimensional to be successful, and I’ve been working on that," he said in May during the organization's OTAs. 

Well, Brown's focus on that goal is absolutely paying off, as evidenced by what he's doing in his first pro training camp.

The third-rounder has still glided behind Washington's secondary on a near-daily basis for giant completions, but he's also popping up across the middle — a place where some speedsters rarely venture — and on quicker action, too. 

That is, not surprisingly, pleasing his head coach.

"You guys have seen the practice," Ron Rivera told reporters recently. "Catching those quick slants or darts and then sticking his foot in the ground to get vertical is pretty impressive."

If Washington is able to enter the season at full strength, Brown can develop at a more relaxed pace. The problem is Curtis Samuel still doesn't sound close to returning to the lineup, meaning the rookie may be relied on for more than a 40- or 50-yard strike here or there this year.

 

Fortunately, because of the level that Brown is performing at, the thought of him having to potentially take on a massive role isn't all that scary. Rivera and coordinator Scott Turner undoubtedly want Samuel healthy for Week 1 and beyond, but in Brown, they've got to be feeling upbeat about Samuel's possible replacement.

"[He's] a guy that's got an opportunity to really kind of step into the forefront for us and be a big part of what we want to do offensively," Rivera said. "Just adding some more speed is going to be huge. He's a guy that I think can really help offset some of the things that Terry [McLaurin's] had to deal with."

Now, let's not act like Brown should completely get away from his top trait, either.

Sure, it'd be nice if he can continue to learn the club's full scheme and become comfortable running whatever route's asked of him. That's obviously important to him and would serve him well in future campaigns. But until then, there's nothing wrong with him skating down the sideline for game-altering catches.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick made it known — and actually made it known early — that he supports that idea, Brown said on Sunday.

"When I got drafted, he was actually the first one to hit my phone and start talking about the deep balls," he told reporters.

Besides, the beauty of adding a talent like Brown is that, when it comes to someone who's as explosive as he is, any sort of pattern can lead to six points.

"I have to make that short route a deep route as well," he said. "Take a slant for 80 yards or get a curl and take it for 60 and make all routes the same."