With the spate of players hitting IR yesterday came two signings at the RB position; Josh Vaughan who was with the Carolina Panthers for the 2010 preseason and Andre Brown, second year RB out of North Carolina State and former 4th round draft pick.
The 6'0", 224 lbs Brown was a standout for the Wolfpack finishing his college career with 2,539 yards and 22 touchdowns while amassing 767 yards and 7 TDs his senior year.
So why would a promising rookie and a guy who was drafted just one pick after Tony Fiametta be available off waivers? Let's look more into Brown... after the jump
Andre Brown was selected with the 129th pick of the 2009 NFL draft by the New York Giants. Unfortunately, during training camp and just 11 days after the attached photo was taken he ruptured his Achilles tendon and was placed on injured reserve before the regular season ever began.
It would take another year for Brown to truly resurface as he was waived by the Giants who decided to go in a different direction with their running backs deciding to rely more heavily on 4th year veteran Danny Ware as the #3 RB behind Bradshaw and Jacobs; Andre Brown was expendable and subsequently waived.
Prior to being waved, however, Brown had a fairly successful pre-season with the Giants in limited time. Despite facing stout Jets, Ravens, and Steelers defenses he ran the ball 21 times for 95 yards (a 4.2 ypc average) and scored one touchdown. Ultimately the aforementioned Ware had a similar pre-season making the cut easier.
On September 5th, 2010 he was signed off waivers by the Denver Broncos where he suited up for only one game against Baltimore where he carried the ball twice for -1 yard, he was waived by the Broncos less than a week later.
On October 18th, 2010 Brown was claimed off waivers again, this time by the Indianapolis Colts who moved him to their active roster just a week ago. Due to roster pressures and more pressing needs Brown was again waived by the Colts and finally arrived in Carolina.
So, what do we make of Andre Brown? Merely a PS/roster spot, or could he be something more? Judging by a fairly impressive pre-season with New York against stout defenses it's tough to imagine that he has been greatly slowed by his rookie injury, nor is it fair in hindsight to judge his ability based on Denver's evaluation- after all, this is the team who traded Peyton Hillis and a 6th round pick for Brady Quinn.
In my assessment Brown is every bit the talent that warranted a 4th round pick in 2009. He's a strong, big, North South runner who was put behind the eight ball early and has been struggling to get out from behind it. With the very real possibility of DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton being out this week vs. Tampa Bay perhaps Brown will finally get a shot to show if he can play in this league.