Despite an up-and-down career with Oregon football, Anthony Brown has the talent to succeed as an NFL quarterback in the right system.
While watching the second half of Oregon football’s final game of the 2021 season, a thought crept into my mind: Anthony Brown may just have a future in the NFL, after all.
This is something I never thought I’d say after witnessing what felt like the most intense roller-coaster of a season from the senior quarterback, but he kept proving me wrong. Brown went through stretches where he looked like he should be nothing more than a college backup but then there were other instances when he resembled a future NFL quarterback.
After watching the Alamo Bowl, I’m leaning toward the latter.
Brown finished the season as an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection, passing for 2,989 yards and 18 touchdowns with seven picks and a career-best (minimum 100 attempts) 64 percent completion rate. He also rushed for 658 yards and nine touchdowns, leading Oregon to 10 wins despite the team really not living up to its potential and suffering major injuries to key players.
The senior transfer from Boston College had a sneaky-good season with over 3,500 total yards and 27 total touchdowns, but he was criticized heavily because when he struggled, the team as a whole struggled — which is common for the position.
But another former Pac-12 quarterback proved that there’s a place for Brown in the NFL.
Tyler Huntley set the precedent for Anthony Brown’s NFL success
A few weeks ago when I witnessed another former Pac-12 quarterback who had an up-and-down collegiate career at Utah play well in his first career start with the Ravens, I immediately thought of Brown.
Tyler Huntley is a very similar player to Brown and when he transferred to Oregon from Boston College, that was one of the first things that came to mind. Huntley was slightly more accurate throughout his career, but never blew anyone away with his touchdown-to-interception ratio and didn’t put up huge numbers through the air. He also ran the ball effectively and his best season was his senior year when he threw for just over 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns on a career-best completion rate.
Huntley finished his career with 7,351 yards, 46 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and 1,146 rushing yards with 16 more scores. Brown ended his career with 7,891 yards, 60 touchdowns, and 27 picks while rushing for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns. It doesn’t get any more similar than that.
Both were also criticized for not being consistent enough and neither really had pro prospects coming out of college. Huntley ended up signing with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent and sticking on the active roster while I could see the same for Brown.
One area in which Brown does hold an advantage: size. He stands about two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than Huntley which has to intrigue NFL scouts.
While his career at Oregon won’t be remembered as a legendary one, Brown is an athlete and a heck of a football player and he’s going to have success in the NFL as a quarterback in the right system — just look at how Huntley looked in his lone start (spoiler: he was fantastic).