June 21, 2024

Devy Digest: Barion Brown

4 min read
Barion-Brown-Return-090623

 

 

Kentucky Wildcats

Wide Receiver
Barion Brown
6’1″ 166lbs
Age: 19
Draft Eligible: 2025
Devy Digest WR Rank: 10

 

Devy Digest: Barion Brown

 

 

Who is Barion Brown?

Brown was a high 4* in the composites and attended Pearl-Cohn High in Tennessee, where he did a little of everything on the Football field, including playing quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back. Off the football field, Brown was a decorated track athlete as he won back-to-back State Championships in the 100 and 200 meter dash. That game changing, elite speed translated onto the football field as he outran defenders game after game. As a true Freshman, Brown started 7 games and was an impact player every time he touched the ball. Brown finished his Freshman season with 50 catches and became one of the most dangerous return men in college football.

Advance Metrics: Courtesy of Campus 2 Cant

As you can see, Brown had a great Freshman season. The start to the current season has been less than ideal, but we need to see how this offense shapes up.

2023 Outlook

Liam Coen returns as the offensive coordinator and Devin Leary is the new Quarterback, who should distribute the ball better than Will Levis did last season. So far it’s been a slow start to the season, but Brown has already shown his return prowess by returning a kickoff 99 yards to the house in the season opener against Ball State. Brown and fellow true Sophomore Dane Key are one of the more potent duos in all of college football. Brown should be used in all phases including jet sweeps, bubble screens, and go routes in order to utilize his skill set and get him in open space.

Strengths

Brown has speed in spades and he knows how to use it. Coen should find ways to get him the ball in open space and let him work. Brown is creative when he has the ball in his hands and you hold your breath every time he touches it as he can take it the distance every time. Brown tracks the ball well, which is why he is such a good returner, and why I’d like to see more go and post routes from him.  I’d also like to see him expand the route tree and give him more variation to win. We’d like to see Kentucky utilize Brown’s mix of short, shifty speed with long speed. Brown has galloping strides that can outrun most defenses. It’s encouraging that the new offensive coordinator is trying to find ways to get him the ball.

Improvements/Concerns

There is a lot of mystery in regards to Brown, either due to his skill set or the offense that is being run at Kentucky. As a true Freshman, he wasn’t asked to run many different routes and was very limited in that offense, running more short to intermediate routes. Could it be he isn’t as refined as a route runner or was it due to a combination of Quarterback play from last year and the former play caller? So far in the current season, we still haven’t seen Brown used in the explosive ways we would like to see. Kentucky has run a pretty balanced offense so far and Leary looks competent at the helm, as he hasn’t forced anything and just takes what the defense is giving them.  Brown hasn’t taken over the receiving room as we have hoped, but the season is young and there are a lot of games to go, but it bears to watch. Brown has a slight frame, we’d like him to add on 5-10 lbs, but in today’s game, it isn’t as much of a concern as it used to be about a decade ago.

Devy Value

Brown is a hold right now. I don’t think anyone is too nervous with the slow start and I wouldn’t be selling him. He’s at worse the WR3 of the 2025 class.

NFL Outlook

Brown’s speed gives him a safety net at the next level. We know guys with his type of game changing speed go in the first round purely on their speed and nothing else. His range of outcomes is easily a top-15 pick, and why his devy value is a hold.