As Dyami Brown’s name was called in the third round, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah gave out a player comparison that caught the attention of plenty offans.
“You see the comparison there is,” Jeremiah said. “Very interesting seeing where he ends up going.”
, of course, went to — where he’ll now be teammates with , the team’s star receiver. The franchise used the 82nd overall pick on , a vertical threat with serious speed on the outside. Sound familiar? And coincidentally, was also picked in the third round, albeit six picks before at No. 76.
turned out to be a giant steal for . So did running back Antonio Gibson, the team’s third-round pick last year who led in rushing yards. Now, is hoping it continues its recent track record of finding gems in the third with Brown — or cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, taken by at No. 74.
Brown’s selection, in particular, was heavily praised. Pro Football Focus labeled the pick as one of the steals of the draft — touting thatwas the 45th player ranked on their board. ESPN’s Mel Kiper also had the North Carolina product projected going much earlier, somewhere in the 40s.
Coach Ron Rivera did little to temper expectations, saying he was gladfell.
“I’m very excited about it because in the third round, if you let the board do its job, if you believe in the way it’s been set … you’re going to get the steal,” Rivera said. “Your grade may not reflect others. He’s the guy you believe in.”
There are several stats that jump out when looking at Brown. He was one of 23 receivers in the nation to average more than 19 yards per catch last season — and he had more total yards than anyone on the list. His total 1,099 receiving yards also ranked sixth in the nation in 2020.
But what caught Rivera’s eye was the sturdiness of Brown’s hands. The 21-year-old dealt with drops at North Carolina, but Rivera said they were “concentration drops” due to a lack of focus. According to Pro Football Focus,never dropped a contested target in three years with the Tar Heels.
will need time to develop. He told reporters he had a limited route in college, not running many of the intermediate routes — curls, digs, slants. spent the last few months working on his technique for those concepts, as well as getting adjusted to playing on the right side of the field. At North Carolina, mostly lined up on the left as the “X” receiver.
“I feel like a whole lot of my game hasn’t been shown throughout the past few years just because of how our offense was, I feel like I’m an all-around receiver that can do it all,”said. “Speed isn’t the only thing that I can do.”
, meanwhile, is also high on St-Juste. At 6-foot-3, St-Juste plays with physicality on the outside and cam jam receivers at the line of scrimmage. St-Juste, who’s originally from Canada, can also play free safety in certain packages as he switched there in college at Minnesota. Most of his six career interceptions came as a safety, he said.
Rivera was tight-lipped when asked ifsaw St-Juste more as a cornerback or safety. The team will try him at both spots, he said.
But with St-Juste and, Rivera said the two will have a chance to come in and contribute right away. The question, of course, becomes if either can blow past expectations as and Gibson did.
“We had two guys that we liked,” Rivera said. “You set the board for a reason and you trust in it and you’re going to make (a) good decision.”