The NFL is filled with different backgrounds and stories. Los Angeles Rams WR Fred Brown’s story is one of derailment and his fight to get his football life back on track.
Brown was working his way up with the Mississippi St. Bulldogs as a wide receiver. In three seasons, Brown was making progress towards being a greater contributor. His final year at Mississippi State saw him play in all 12 games and make 27 catches for 412 yards and three touchdowns.
But that was more than two years ago. Since then, Brown was kicked off the team for violating the Bulldogs’ honor code which later turned out to be an academic issue related to plagiarism and improperly citing sources. Brown accepted responsibility and promised he would return to for school but not for football as he declared for the 2017 NFL Draft.
He went undrafted, and as such his life in the NFL has consisted on surviving on the Indianapolis Colts’ and Rams’ practice squads. His signing, release, and re-signing has come down to numbers, and it’s likely to be the case in Los Angeles.
The wide receiver position is stacked with plenty of talent and bodies. The cream of the crop are guys like Cooper Kupp, Pharoh Cooper, Robert Woods and new WR1 Brandin Cooks. Behind them are depth players from last year’s team and newcomers who signed on as UDFAs along with Brown.
Brown was not going to be Mississippi State’s next great receiver, but his senior year could have been a great step forward in his career and his best chance to prove that he can make it in the NFL.
There’s no excuse for violating the rules, but his story is especially sad because it’s a story of what might have been. A story with a missing chapter. Brown left the football team with little production and lessons yet to be learned, all of which would have been a great help for dire situations like this.
Chances of making the final roster (0.5/10)
Brown’s chances at making the 53-man roster are slim-to-none at this point. There is always a chance to improve on special teams and make contributions there, but it’s doubtful.
Brown’s likely again aiming for a practice squad slot. He does not have the skills or the experience to separate himself from the pack at his position which has plenty of talent and potential above him on the depth chart.
Being the odd man out is never easy.