6’3, 205, Jr.
2015: 58 targets, 27 catches (47%), 326 yards (5.6 per target), 4 TD
2014: 7 target, 5 catches (71%), 45 yards (6.4 per target)
davidcmorrison: Missouri needs another Bud Sasser. Someone where it’s like, “Play broke down? Whatever, chuck it to Bud,” and it usually works out.
Brown seems most likely to fit the bill, with his size and athleticism.
So why haven’t we seen it yet?
Yes, playing in the slot last year probably stalled some of that progress. He’s just more natural wide. If Black can command the sort of attention coaches are hoping over the middle of the field, that can suck the safeties in and make for more one-on-one matchups with corners for Brown.
In those scenarios, you’ve got to like his chances to out-muscle and out-leap. In other words, he can become something approaching another Bud (maybe not a 1,000-yard guy...but maybe an occasional 100-yard a game guy...) if the pieces around him start functioning a little better.
Oscar Gamble: I feel like we’ve been talking about Nate Brown’s four-star potential forever, but in his defense he played the last two years out of position. You might excuse him, or you might argue he should have produced regardless, but I think he’s better suited at the “Z”, “Field” or “3” receiver (the guy farthest from the QB). And it seems like the new coaches have figured that out as well.
Brown should be one of the three starting receivers against West Virginia and should get starter-level reps throughout the season. I believe he’s one of the most talented receiving talents on the roster and can prove it if given any sort of consistency from the rest of the offense. If he can replicate the flashes he showed against South Carolina, I think he can put up 600+ yards and six scores in his junior year and be one of the top two receivers.
Pboggs: I thought Brown was underutilized last year, especially when Maty Mauk was starting. Coming off his sophomore year, Brown finished the 2015 season with 326 total yards and led the tigers with a team high of 4 touchdowns. I truly believe he can become a standout receiver in the SEC, as long as Heupel uses him correctly. Brown showed flashes of athletic prowess with several acrobatic catches during last year, one of which was a touchdown pass from Drew Lock in the South Carolina game.
Unfortunately, we cant expect catches like this every game. But Brown can become a much more dynamic threat if he gets open quicker, plays more physical and is thrown decent passes. Until then, I’m going to expect the same results as last year.
TheRonDavis: Nate Brown was one of my favorite signees from 2014. So far, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him. He’s got the body for an outside receiver, and the potential is there. Perhaps working with Andy Hill can create some opportunities for him. If his hands are more consistent, I think he’s the top receiver on this team in 2016.
Sam Snelling: If there’s a wide receiver who I think is poised for a breakout year, it’s Nate Brown. He showed flashes as a true freshman and more as a sophomore, and he’s got everything you could want in a wideout. With a more mature and accurate quarterback, you’d hope that somebody as talented as Brown will be able to take advantage and be a player. Missouri could sure stand to have Brown be that guy.
Bill C.: It really does seem like Brown is the most likely Sasser Type for the offense. He doesn’t have the best size or the best speed on the team, but there’s at least a little bit of polish in there.
Like Moore, Brown disappeared quite a bit in 2015. He had 11 catches in four games with Mauk as quarterback, then caught six (albeit for just 33 yards) against South Carolina in Drew Lock’s first start. Then, in the final seven games of the year, he caught 10 passes. Granted, he looked strong in catching five passes for 65 yards against BYU, but in the two games after that he caught two for 10.
I’m excited about what I think Heupel will be able to get out of Lock, but he still needs wideouts to lean on. There might not be a better candidate than Brown.