RB Donald Brown, Free agent
HT: 5-11, WT: 210, Born: 4-11-1987, College: Connecticut, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 27
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Return Projections (see all)
Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Cook (190), Donald Brown (191), C Fleener (193)
Position: L Dunbar (182-RB58), D McCluster (185-RB59), Donald Brown (191 - RB60), R Helu (195-RB61), R Hillman (197-RB62)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: M Austin (196), J Locker (197), Donald Brown (198), E Manuel (199), O Beckham (200)
Position: R Hillman (189-RB60), R Helu (191-RB61), Donald Brown (198 - RB62), J Rodgers (201-RB63), J Grimes (202-RB64)
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Donald Brown was the Chargers' prize free-agent acquisition this offseason. He played well for the Colts in 2013, significantly outperforming Trent Richardson, and the Chargers will work him into the offense this year, though his precise role remains unclear. Ryan Mathews is the starter. Danny Woodhead earned the coaches' trust last season and should continue to get playing time, especially in passing situations. Donald Brown is versatile enough to eat into either Mathews' or Woodhead's playing time, and will presumably play a larger role than Ronnie Brown did last season. Because the Chargers' backfield is crowded and Brown's role is uncertain, draft him only as a late-round flyer. Because of Mathews' propensity to miss time, however, Brown is the kind of flyer who could pay off handsomely. Woodhead is better suited as a change-of-pace back than as a featured runner, so if Mathews is injured, Brown could step into the starting role -- and based on his effectiveness last season, he could succeed splendidly.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 2 - Brown is going to be the complementary back to Bradshaw now with Ballard out for the season, it's a role he is use to in Indy at this point. His first snaps coming on the third drive, a drive in which he started. He's usually the short yardage guy however he was stuffed on his lone spot, a 3rd and 2 deep in Colts territory, a stop that ended up flipping field position and led to a Dolphins TD. With all that being said, Brown has no worries about losing the backup duties here as no one else in the backfield got carries outside of him and Bradshaw.
Week 5 - Whether it was part of the plan or not, Donald Brown has a pretty solid workload for being on the roster bubble just about a month ago- Brown had six carries and looked to be more effective than Richardson in the snaps he received. He's really used in passing downs where he is a great pass blocker but also poses as a threat catching passes out the backfield. The Colts even went with him over Trent as their goalie back and Brown made the best of it scoring a TD on his first crack at it. It seems as if the Colts would ideally want Richardson to show he deserves all the carries, but since he hasn't displayed that yet, and with Brown's success in the spots he's used, I don't see Donald going anywhere at the moment as he seems like a guy who is going to get 5-10 carries and now with this goalline TD, potentially the goalline back?
Week 7 - The Colts never thought they'd be resorting to Brown once they acquired Trent Richardson. Heck they had Ahmad Bradshaw ahead of him; however in this league nothing can be taken as a surprise, and here the Colts are getting Donald Brown double-digit touches in week 7. Let's face the facts- he is running more efficiently than Richardson at this point, and he's the superior back when it comes to pass protection, as he caught all three of his targets this game. With all that being said, that's about it when it comes to the pluses of Donald Brown as he simply is just a middle of the road running back. However, as long as TRich continues to heavily disappoint, Brown will continue to get reps as he's not exactly doing anything to lose them.
Week 9 - Donald Brown outperformed Trent Richardson again, for the third straight game, and it could be something football fans should definitely get use to. Brown makes more of his opportunities than Trent and the coaching staff prefers him in pass protection over Richardson as well. Running behind the same line TRich did, Brown's YPC more than tripled Trent's number, a rather crazy stat fact but something that shouldn't come as that surprising at this stage in the game. As long as Richardson doesn't run away with the job, the Colts are going to continue to factor Donald Brown into the offense- and at this rate, that might be the best option for them.
Week 10 - Donald Brown did absolutely nothing on the ground. Actually. If someone could do worse than absolutely nothing than Brown did that. 2 carries for -1 yards on a day where nothing went right for the team. The best part about Donald's game in this one was his receiving ability out the backfield, catching all 5 of his targets, coming in second on the team in receiving yards and receptions in this one. At this point who knows who you can classify as the Colts "lead back" as they both seem to get the same amount of looks.
Week 11 - If you read the box score of Colts RBs and didn't see the names, you'd hope Trent Richardson had Donald Brown's statline, of course that wasn't the case as Donald Brown continued to make his case for being the top back in this Indy time share. Brown scored twice, both from inside the 15, and making both look rather easy. He runs really hard and is deceivingly agile for a back his size. He excelled at pass blocking this game as well. At this point, if Richardson was just another back and not the guy they spent assets on, he'd definitely be the backup because Donald Brown has done all that's been asked of him and more in this last month of football showing off all his talents in this game.
Week 12 - Two carries for one yard. One catch for negative one yard. That says all the analyzing one needs. Brown never got going as the Colts found themselves down 24-3 in a hurry, but he could've at least put up a better then .5 YPC you'd think. The combo of Dan Herron and Luck outrushed Brown and Trent 64-16! That shows you where this Colts running game is currently at. In the blowout it was Trent who played far more snaps than Brown, however I wouldn't put too much into that as, again, the Colts had to scrap their gameplan pretty early in this one. Brown and the Colts have the Titans next week, a team he put 80 yards and 2 scores on just a couple weeks back.
Week 13 - Getting the nod as the starting back (finally) Donald Brown didn't make much of his first start of the season- although with this Colts OL how can you expect a running back to excel? Brown was active in the passing game early on, catching his lone receptions on the first few plays, and then the productivity in the passing game just stopped for him. Averaging just under 4 yards a carry, it wasn't much of an impressive performance, however he got the job done moving the chains on the third and short run plays and on the final, game icing drive he busted off his two longest runs of the day, fighting for whatever yards he could get on both; and when the Colts got to the goaline and Richardson failed to get into the endzone, it was Brown who was brought in the next play and it was Brown who got them into the endzone for the lone Colts TD of the game. Ultimately he ran for 50+ yards, something Trent Richardson has accomplished just twice this season as Indy's back. There's no reason to suspect Brown will lose the ž starterÓ tag in Indianapolis.
Week 14 - Getting the start in this one didn't do much for Brown as what seemed like almost instantly the Colts found themselves down 21. Not helping his case either is the notion that Indy must continue to keep their traded-for first rounder in the mix of the gameplan so we saw Trent in this one get more playing time. Brown had just as many targets as Trent in this one (6), he just didn't get the space like Trent got when he got had his catching opportunities. Wouldn't read much into this game playing time wise because of the deficit Indy instantly faced, however in this backfield there isn't much appeal anyways.
Week 15 - With him only having 5 carries in this one, Brown wasn't much effective. He busted off a nice 26 yard run early and proceeded to gain only 12 from then on out. One would think that because Indy got comfortable early that they gave Trent the reps that his drafted tag gets him, just trying to get him in the flow, so it ended up hurting Brown's statsheet because of it. It still seems that Brown is the feature back going forward as they've shown when they've needed some sort of pop from the backfield.
Week 16 - Donald Brown had himself a game. He was getting runs early and finding space when doing so. He scored both of Indy's TD; the first being off a check down pass from Luck, however no defenders were around him when he caught it and he went up the sideline untouched for 33 yards. His second TD came on another hustle play as Luck gave him the draw out of shotgun, Brown burst through the line and cut it outside, made a man miss, broke a handful of tackles, tip-toed down the sideline and scored from 51 yards out. Announcers on the game felt that Brown stepped out somewhere around the 10 but the officials didn't see it that way as the call stood. Richardson ended up with more carries than Brown however you can chalk that up to the Colts staff just getting Trent reps to keep him active and on the field- this game belong to Brown and it really showed his hustle and will to get the most out of a given play.
Week 17 - Scoring the first TD of the game on Indyís first drive from one yard out, it looked as if Brown could be in line to have himself a game- however that wouldnít be the case as Indy found a groove passing the ball and stuck with it. It didnít help that Brown didnít do much else after his TD run, netting a Trent Richardson-esque YPC (2.6) and not doing anything on the three passes he caught. As mentioned, running the ball wasnít the Colts focal point in this one and Brown never got into a groove because of it. But make no mistake, in the playoffs the Colts wonít have a problem leaning on Brown if that gamplan becomes needed.
Week 18 - Not getting a touch on their opening drive, Brown had to wait for his time to make an impact, but it certainly did that when he was able to; with Richardson fumbling on his first carry of the game, it was all Brown with the runs after that- averaging 5 a pop in this one. He caught four passes, one leading to a three yard TD in the third quarter. The drive before that he punched it in on the goal line, giving him back to back TDs. The game however was almost lost on his goal line fumble on a later drive- luckily Andrew Luck (literally) jumped to the rescue, recovering and scoring on the play. In a game where it was a shootout, there wasnít much done on the ground- however it would be an injustice to not mention Brown as having a major impact on the outcome of this game.
Week 19 - Not being able to focus on the run much as the score dictated their gameplan, Donald Brown still ended up with 17 carries in this one. The YPC wasnít anything special as it was sub-4.0 and he didnít get into the endzone either as the Pats run D showed up in this one as well. Brown did his job in pass protection picking up a couple key blocks that wouldíve certainly ended in sacks if he didnít chip the blitzing defender. Getting most his rushes in the shotgun, the quick handoff and up the middle rush was ineffective with the Pats clogging up the holes that he was running to. With Brown being a free agent this summer, and the Colts having the burden of TRich, Donald reasonably couldíve played his last game as a Colt. However heíd surely latch on somewhere as he showed late in the season, when healthy, he can carry the load of being a teamís lead back.