New Acquisition Analysis: Malcolm Brown

The Dolphins announced today the signing of running back Malcolm Brown. Brown entered the league with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2015 from Texas. He rushed for 1,188 yards averaging 4.0 yards per rush in six seasons with the Rams (now in Los Angeles).

The Film

At 222 pounds, Brown packs a punch. He's a hammer in short-yardage situations and has a nose for picking out blitzers in the passing game to buy his quarterback extra time. He keeps his legs moving on contact and he squeezes every possible inch out of each run. Brown builds up speed and seeks collisions at the second level. He's a smart runner with patience, vision and a knack for finding lanes in the passing game on screens, swings and flares.

The Fit

Sean McVay's Rams offense is predicted on wide zone runs that set up the play action and bootleg game. As a result, 210 of Brown's 307 career attempts came from zone schemes. Some of his best work, however, is done when he can get north and south and drop his shoulder into contact.

The Stats (Courtesy of Pro Football Focus)

In 140 career pass-protection snaps, Brown has never been credited with a sack allowed. He's only been charged with three QB hits surrendered in his career, doing his part to keep his quarterback upright on 97.9 percent of his reps in pass pro.

Last season, Brown converted six-of-eight short-yardage attempts on third or fourth down (short-yardage = three yards or less to the sticks). He forced 17 missed tackles on 110 attempts last season.

The Rams more than doubled Brown's career pass targets in 2020. He caught 25 of 34 targets (75.3 percent) for 175 yards and piled up 194 of those yards after the catch – a focal point of the Rams screen game.

The Roster Impact

The two incumbents with the most touches in 2020 (Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed) are both sub 200-pound backs. Brown provides a level of balance to the room, short-yardage prowess and the ability to stay on the field for three downs.

The Conclusion

The Dolphins ground game begun to pick up steam late in the 2020 season, primarily on the shoulders of Gaskin, a former seventh-round draft pick and Ahmed, an undrafted rookie. Brown, another undrafted free agent, gives the Dolphins depth at a skill position.

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