Ron Rivera sees some Terry McLaurin in Dyami Brown's game

/ by Ryan Homler
Presented By Ourisman Automotive of Virginia

Not every pick in the NFL Draft is a simple one. Sometimes teams will get on the clock and be forced to consider numerous options and grapple with the best choice.

Yet when the Washington Football Team was on the clock with the 82nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the selection wasn't all that challenging. North Carolina receiver Dyami Brown was still on the board, and the evaluation process had made him a favorite of Ron Rivera and company.

“A lot [to like]," Rivera said to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay about the pick. "We love the speed, we love the playmaking ability.”

Both those traits are what immediately stick out about Brown's game. His 4.44 40-yard dash time makes him the latest speedy addition to the team, even if that impressive number looks slow next to his new teammates. In addition, Brown's final two years in college were filled with explosive plays.

In 2019 and 2020 Brown totaled over 100 catches for more than 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns while averaging at least 20 yards per reception in both campaigns. He's a big-play threat with the capability to work on the outside and in the slot.

Those attributes have earned him an early comparison to his new teammate Terry McLaurin. Rivera sees it as well but noted that there was something else besides the speed and playmaking that links the two.

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When evaluating film, Rivera did notice that Brown had a few instances where there were drops on balls that should have been caught, What he also discovered, though, is that when Brown goes up with a defender for a contested catch or a 50-50 ball, he's going to come down with it.

That's similar to what No. 17 has shown throughout his brilliant start to his career.

"His contested catches is what stood out," Rivera said. "And another guy like that was Terry McLaurin. His contested catches.”

Expecting Brown to come out and play like McLaurin right away is a tall ask and not what the goal should be. McLaurin is a proven No. 1 receiver in the league while Brown is yet to play an NFL snap.

Yet, his college career and measurables tell the story of someone that has the chance to be very productive at the next level and be a dependable target for whoever is under center, just like McLaurin. That has Rivera fired up about the pick.

“Those are the guys that are going to make plays when you need them the most," Rivera said. "Those are the guys that you get excited about.”