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Illinois Football’s Chase Brown Landed in ideal NFL Scenario

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Illinois Football's Chase Brown Landed in ideal NFL Scenario.
Nov 5, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Chase Brown (2) runs through an opening against the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football’s Chase Brown Landed in ideal NFL Scenario.

Last weekend, Illinois football enjoyed an eventful 2023 NFL Draft. As we all know, the defensive backs stole the show. Devon Witherspoon went to the Seahawks at the fifth overall pick, and Quan Martin and Sydney Brown rounded out an impressive result. Three defensive backs were drafted in the first three rounds. However, one draft choice that went a little under the radar was Chase Brown. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Chase in the fifth round, and though it was surprising to see such a productive player fall to the fifth round, I think Chase landed in an ideal scenario.

The Bengals need running back depth

The Bengals are a sure-fire super bowl contender. Joe Burrow has proven himself to be an elite quarterback and spearheads an explosive offensive attack. The Bengals made the 2022 Super Bowl and lost one game before this past year’s. One large criticism according to most media outlets has been their protection of Joe Burrow, particularly at the running back position. According to an article done by Cincyjungle.com, Mixon did not play the second half of the AFC championship because he struggles with pass blocking.

Amongst running backs in this past draft according to PFF, Chase Brown ranked as the second best pass blocker. The only pass blocker that ranked better than Brown was newly drafted Chicago Bear, Roschon Johnson. Though Brown may have had moments of poor pass coverage, he graded out particularly well. Additionally, starting RB, Joe Mixon’s future with the Bengals is hazy and they also elected to let their previous backup walk. Brown has the chance to compete for the full-time backup position this season. He also has the chance to show that he can carry a part of the starter’s load.

The Bengals [and Brown] will be on the biggest stages.

As above, the Bengals will compete for a Super Bowl this year. Chase Brown has the chance to make a name for himself right from the jump. For a player that was productive despite literally being the only running back option at Illinois, this is a prime opportunity. Brown’s 328 carries for 1643 yards were honestly underappreciated as an Illini. The fact that he could consistently get 100+ yards a game with ease reminds me of how Illinois fans watched Kofi Cockburn put up 20/10 every single night.

Both Brown brothers landed on Super Bowl contenders with the potential to make an early impact as rookies. Imagine a Bengals vs Eagles Super Bowl?

Alex is the Owner of Armchairillini.com, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is a Resident Physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Northwestern Medicine and has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS sports and more.

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