Before the end of 2017, we at PFB thought that incoming freshman Spencer Sanders would be the favorite to succeed NFL prospect Mason Rudolph. But with the recent news of Hawaii transfer Dru Brown coming to Stillwater, the competition for starter gets a little murkier.
Brown, who comes to OSU as a graduate transfer, played in an offense that’s similar to OSU’s. Not only does he have the experience playing in the spread but he also has all the skills of a starting quarterback.
Brown has an exceptional touch on his deep ball. Hawaii loves to use the slot fade both in the drop back passing game and as a tag in their running game. Brown has become adept at throwing to deep concepts, like the fade, with good touch and placement.
Brown also throws effectively to the seam. He shows good timing and knows how to lead his receiver in between multiple defenders.
Placement might be one of Brown’s biggest strengths. Some of the throws he was able to make at Hawaii are nothing short of impressive. Look at how he anticipates the receiver and places the ball in between the corner and safety on this switch concept:
He also is an excellent improviser when the blocking breaks down or the receivers are covered:
Brown’s highlight reel is certainly impressive but his statistics are average in comparison. In his two seasons at Hawaii, Brown has failed to throw for over 3,000 yards. His attempts are also not what you’d usually find in a starting quarterback. To put things in perspective, Mason Rudolph attempted almost 200 more passes than Brown in the past two seasons.
Not only would his 2017 passing total rank him dead last among full-time starting quarterbacks in the Big 12, but he would also be last among those same starters in passer rating. Additionally, Brown threw at least one interception in five of his first six games.
Brown shouldn’t receive too much criticism, as he played in an offense that lacked explosiveness. The Rainbow Warriors were No. 105 in the country in scoring, averaging a mediocre 22.8 points per average. Whether his production would increase with an upgrade in talent is yet to be seen, but he’s proven that he’s a competent starter and should be in the running for the starting job come fall.