When the Bills took Levi Brown with the 209th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, most fans greeted the news with a yawn (or they were already sleeping). Brown was largely an afterthought in the minds of talent evaluators. The only teams to have been linked to him before the draft were the Bills, Titans, and Chargers. NFL.com rated him as a 2.9.
I, on the other hand, had been screaming at the TV since the 4th round to steal the Troy product. Since watching him the previous December, I became a believer. As I was going through the scouting process, I liked him more and more. He has the prototypical build for a QB. He’s not overly fast, but he has good mobility for a QB. He played behind a porous o-line and survived by outmaneuvering pass rushers.
When QBs are moving around the pocket, a common problem is looking at the rush rather than the receivers. Levi keeps his eyes down field waiting for his guys to get open. Brown has the ability to make anticipatory throws. He has a feel for the game that cannot be taught. His passes are thrown with zip and can be fit into tight spots. Levi’s arm is pretty strong and he has the ability to make all the throws.
Now, I realize I just made him sound like a Hall of Famer, but hear me out. He is raw, and I figured he would need a red-shirt year to get caught up to the speed of the NFL game. Stats and awards are very overrated in the process, but if you’re playing at Troy, you need the stats to prove you are much better than your competition. Levi responded by throwing for over 4,000 yards and becoming Sun Belt Player of the Year. I gave him a 2nd round grade with unlimited upside. He is a hard-worker that wants to get better. Heading into his senior year in college, he watched every snap he took after taking the helm midway through his junior season as an attempt to improve his game that much more. The only QB I graded higher than him was Colt McCoy (Sam Bradford is overrated and will be a bust, trust me).
To those that say he didn’t make the team out of camp, it’s quite obvious by the fact our opening day starter was cut two weeks into the season that there were other factors at play. You wouldn’t cut a player like Fitz (savvy vet) and, to be honest, I have no idea why the staff is infatuated with Brian Brohm. To those who say he was a 7th round pick, Tom Brady was taken in the 6th. Matt Schaub was taken in the 3rd. Kyle Orton was taken in the 5th. Careers are biased based on draft position. Evaluators make mistakes and good players slip through. Give the guy a chance instead of writing him off. To those who say he played poorly in the preseason, anyone that attended camp at St. John Fisher can tell you he got minimal reps as the 4th man in the rotation. Couple that with playing with backup targets (many of which are no longer on the team) and that’s a recipe for disaster. To those who say he’s a spread QB, he played under center at Richmond (he later transferred).
Levi Brown just needs a chance to prove himself. He’s had to his whole collegiate career so what else is new.
- Matt Cooper