Leddie Brown is a senior running back from Philadelphia that enrolled in the West Virginia Mountaineer football program in the fall of the 2018 football season. Brown has been an impact player for the Mountaineer program since his freshman year. Over Brown’s career, he has played in more than 30 games. Brown’s junior year was his breakout campaign—he was able to rush for 1,000+ yards and was named First-Team All-Big-12. Brown followed up the 2020 season with another 1,000-yard rushing season, making him a back-to-back thousand-yard rusher and one of the most productive Big 12 backs over the past two years. Brown is an explosive runner that hits the hole full speed. When the play is blocked properly, he has the speed to take the run the distance. Brown is an all-gas, no-brakes type of back that still needs to understand how to run with patience behind the line of scrimmage to allow runs to fully develop. In the NFL, Brown would be best served to be inserted into a downhill power run scheme that allows him to get his pads north and south, where he is at his best.
Ideal Role: Rotational back
Scheme Fit: Power run schemes w/ pullers and lead blockers
Written by Keith Sanchez
Games watched: Virginia Tech (2021), Baylor (2021), Oklahoma State (2021), Texas (2021).
Best Game Studied: Texas (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Baylor (2021)
Vision: Brown is most effective when he has clear holes to hit and the track of the play leads him to the holes. Brown plays in a run scheme that runs majority zone concepts but he is a better player in downhill schemes. In zone blocking schemes, Brown is inconsistent at identifying holes that develop.
Footwork: In zone blocking schemes, Brown uses short strides to keep his base in position to make vertical cuts when necessary. Brown has the quick feet to make a lateral cut followed by a vertical move. Brown also has a jump-cut that he can use to evade defenders whenever there is backfield penetration that threatens to disrupt the play.
Contact Balance: Brown is smaller in stature but he runs with a violent style. He seeks contact and is able to absorb contact and bounce off defenders. He has the ability to keep his balance when he receives a big blow to his upper body and stay on his feet. He is also able to spin out of contact and keep his feet moving to pick up extra yardage.
Durability: Over the past two years at West Virginia, Brown is their No. 1 running back and receives the majority of the carries. Brown has no significant history of injuries. Brown’s style is violent at times and he has a lean frame that is not built to absorb those collisions for a long duration of time.
Explosiveness: Brown has open-field explosiveness, and can take it 80 yards to the end zone. When his holes are defined, he is able to quickly accelerate and run past defenders. Brown has the capability of being a home-run threat, but he is very inconsistent in his utilization of his explosive traits.
Versatility: At West Virginia, Brown’s primary role was as a ball-carrier. He has a very limited role as a pass-catcher due to his inconsistencies catching the ball. Brown still has to develop certain aspects of his game to become a three-down running back.
Elusiveness: In the open field, Brown is a straight-line runner that can make a slight cut to evade defenders. He has slight hip stiffness that affects his ability to make cuts at high speeds. Brown would rather lower his pads and power through defenders than try to evade them in the open field.
Ball Security: Brown has been the primary ball-carrier for the West Virginia offense the past two years. Brown is a volume guy, but he has a history of fumbling the football. Brown needs to improve on making sure he keeps the ball tight to his body and lower the amount of exposure defenders have to the football
Passing Down Skills: Brown has little value on passing downs. In pass protection, Brown’s technique picking up blitzing defenders needs improvement. He takes a finesse approach and shies away from contact. As a pass-catcher, Brown is limited to catching swing routes and occasional option routes out of the backfield.
Discipline: Brown is a runner that needs a specific direction to run the football. On zone run plays, Brown can occasionally over-run plays or doesn’t stretch them out enough to allow his offensive linemen to create lanes. Brown needs to be in a system where there is a specified area for him to run through and he has a specific gap to hit.
TDN Consensus: 67.50/100 (Seventh Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 67.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 68.00/100