You always want speed and size when looking for wide receivers, offensive coordinator Scott Turner said, and third-rounder Dyami Brown checks both boxes, running a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds.
But there is another trait that sets Brown apart in Turner's eyes from the other draft prospects as well as the wideouts already on the Washington Football Team's roster.
"He makes the plays on the ball down the field," Turner told senior vice president of media and content Julie Donaldson on an episode of Washington Football Today. "He can track and locate and make plays down the field. It's not necessarily that you get it in his hands and then he makes a play; he goes and gets it, and we were looking for a guy like that."
For proof, just look at what Brown accomplished at North Carolina. He is the first player to average at least 20 yards per reception in two straight seasons since 2000, according to The Athletic's Ben Standig, and the only other player to do it twice during that span was James Washington at Oklahoma State in 2015 and 2017. Washington, a second-round pick in 2018, has amassed 90 catches for 1,344 yards and nine touchdowns in three years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As the primary deep threat for the Tar Heels, Brown racked up 123 receptions for 2,306 yards and 21 touchdowns the past two seasons. In 2020 alone, he had five catches of at least 50 yards and eclipsed 150 yards receiving three times.
Head coach Ron Rivera has certainly noticed Brown's speed and playmaking, but like Turner, he gushed about Brown's ability to make contested catches, much like No. 1 receiver Terry McLaurin. According to Pro Football Focus, Brown had the most contested catches (21) over the past two seasons among 2021 draft prospects. He also had 49 contested targets in his career and did not drop a single one.
"He's a guy who seems to come down with the tough catch," Rivera said. "A couple of concentration drops on some deep balls, but man, when he competed for it, he went out and got it. I like the way he runs his routes and gets off the line of scrimmage and is able to stack the defender right away and use his speed keep the ball between himself and the defender. "
Turner admitted Washington needs to get "a lot better" at pushing the ball down the field in 2021, and Brown will be part of the solution to that along with fellow speedsters like McLaurin and free agent signee Curtis Samuel. And they will all have the luxury of catching passes from veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has made a 16-year career out of giving his offensive weapons chances to make plays.
With extreme speed all over the field and Fitzpatrick under center, Brown did not hold back when thinking of the possibilities for this offense moving forward.
"I think it can make us very electric," Brown said. "I think you can compare it to the Chiefs with Tyreek Hill, all their speed and all of their guys and compete with those guys and honestly be better."