Keenen Brown spent four seasons at Oklahoma State and caught just six passes for 103 yards in 18 career games (he didn’t see the field until his redshirt sophomore season in 2016).
Brown opted to finish his career at Texas State last season as a graduate transfer.
“I just felt like I could do more, so that’s why I left and went to Texas State,” said Brown, who is training for a professional career at APEC in Fort Worth.
The move to Texas State paid off. He saw the field more than he did at Oklahoma State, and has landed on NFL radars after a season in which he had 577 yards receiving and five TDs for the Bobcats.
Brown, a four-star recruit coming out of Alief Taylor, also caught 51 passes and earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors in his lone season at Texas State.
The Athletic’s NFL Draft analyst has Brown graded as a priority free agent going into next week’s NFL Draft.
“Brown is currently untrustworthy as a blocker, but he showed enough pass-catching traits in 2018 to warrant status as a developmental NFL prospect,” Brugler said.
An opportunity is all Brown wants. Brown had a solid showing at the NFL Combine, running a 4.75-second 40-yard dash (11th best among tight ends), 17 reps on the 225-pound bench press (10th best), 33-inch vertical (ninth best) and a 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump (sixth best).
The Star-Telegram caught up with him during a training session at APEC earlier this offseason.
Is there an uphill battle to get noticed by NFL teams coming from a smaller school? “Yes. I’m coming from a small school, but I still can put up big numbers as much as anybody else. I can work as hard as them. … Small school, big school, it doesn’t matter to me.”
How much stock do you put in ‘small school’ TEs such as Travis Kelce (Cincinnati) and Antonio Gates (Kent State) succeeding in the NFL? “Tight ends get underlooked all the time until we start showing off what we can do then everybody appreciates a good tight end.”
Describe yourself as a player. “I’m a hard-working player who comes in every day trying to get better. Every time I touch the ball, I’m going to try and do something with it.”
Are you more of a receiving or blocking tight end? “I feel I can do both. I try to do both as much as possible. Texas State was more like 50-50. I got the ball a lot, but I was still blocking. I didn’t really get out of the game that much.”
Do you feel like you compare well to anyone in the league? “No, not really. I feel every person is different and everybody brings something different to the table. I really like that about the tight end group, everyone has something different and good about themselves.”
Finally, how do you feel you stack up with the other TEs in the 2019 draft class? “I feel I stack up well. I had a pretty good season, numbers-wise, and I showcased what I could do at the Combine.”