John Brown (wide receiver)
John "Smoke" Brown (born April 3, 1990) is an American football wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Pittsburg State and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Brown with the Cardinals in 2014
|No. 15 – Buffalo Bills|
|Born:||April 3, 1990|
Florida City, Florida
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||178 lb (81 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2014 / Round: 3 / Pick: 91|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2019|
In 2008, Brown enrolled at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina. Brown was named the SAC Freshman of the Year, after catching 27 passes for 619 yards and seven touchdowns while leading the team with 1,472 all-purpose yards. Due to academic troubles, he sat out the 2009 season before transferring to Coffeyville Community College in 2010, but he was redshirted.
Unable to play at Coffeyville, Brown considered a transfer to MidAmerica Nazarene University, where his half-brother James Walker had played. Before Brown and Walker could play together, however, Walker was shot multiple times in July 2010 and died in April 2011 from his injuries. Walker's ailing condition and eventual demise motivated Brown to keep playing football despite his past hardships, and he eventually earned a scholarship to play for Pittsburg State University.
In 2011, he was a second-team AP Little All-American as all-purpose player while leading Pittsburg State to the NCAA Division II National Championship. He was named first-team All-MIAA as kick returner and second-team All-MIAA as a wide receiver after he led his team with 61 receptions for 1,216 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2012, he was named a first-team AP Little All-American as an all-purpose player, and first-team All-MIAA as kick returner and wide receiver. He was named the MIAA and the NCAA Division II National Special Teams Player of the Year. Brown started 10 games and led team with 63 receptions for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2013, he was named 2013 MIAA Special Teams Player of the Year as well as the NCAA Division II National Special Teams Player of the Year. He was also named a second-team AP Little All-American as all-purpose player and first-team All-MIAA player as kick returner and wide receiver. He caught 61 passes for 1,198 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He finished as Pitt State’s all-time leader in receptions (185), receiving yards (3,380) and receiving touchdowns (34). His 3,380 receiving yards ranks fifth in MIAA history. Between receiving, rushing and return yards, Brown finished his career with 7,716 all-purpose yards, 6,244 at Pitt State.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 10 in
|30 1⁄2 in
|8 1⁄2 in
|4.34 s||4.12 s||6.91 s||36.5 in
|9 ft 11 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
In his debut for the Arizona Cardinals, Brown caught his first professional touchdown on a 13-yard pass from Carson Palmer against the San Diego Chargers in Week 1 of the 2014 season. He followed that performance with his first multi-touchdown game two weeks later against the San Francisco 49ers. On October 26, 2014, he caught a 75-yard game-winning touchdown pass to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. In Week 10 of the 2014 NFL season, John Brown became the first rookie in NFL history to have 4-game-winning touchdowns in a season. Brown finished the season with 48 receptions on 103 targets for 696 yards and five touchdowns. An injury to the Cardinal's QB, Carson Palmer, caused a sharp decline in the team's offense. On January 3, 2015, in the NFC Wild Card game against the Carolina Panthers, on the game's final offensive play, Brown was the final recipient of a multiple lateral play which lost 20 yards. The loss caused the Cardinals to finish the game with just 78 total offensive yards, the lowest total in NFL playoff history which broke a 56-year-old league record.
Brown and the Cardinals enjoyed a terrific season, finishing the regular season at 13-3. Brown concluded the regular season with 65 receptions on 101 targets for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns. The Cardinals ultimately lost in the NFC Championship game to the Carolina Panthers.
Brown's 2017 season was also plagued with injuries, dealing with quadriceps, back, and toe injuries. He played in 10 games with five starts, recording 21 catches for 299 yards and three touchdowns.
After scoring his first Ravens touchdown in the season-opener against the Buffalo Bills, he would go on to record 92 yards and his second touchdown (a 21-yard reception) against the Cincinnati Bengals the next game. In Week 4, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he recorded three receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown in the victory. He finished the season with 42 receptions for a team-leading 715 yards and five touchdowns.
During the season opener against the New York Jets on September 8, 2019, Brown finished with 7 receptions for 123 yards, including the go-ahead 38-yard touchdown reception in a 17–16 win after trailing 16-0. In a week 7 matchup against the Miami Dolphins, Brown caught a go-ahead touchdown from Josh Allen in the fourth quarter, giving Buffalo a 17–14 lead. The Bills would go on to win 31–21 as Brown caught five passes for 83 yards and the touchdown. During the rematch with the Dolphins in Week 11, Brown finished with 137 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns as the Bills won 37–20. During the Thanksgiving Series against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13, Brown completed one pass for a 28 yard touchdown to rookie running back Devin Singletary. Brown also finished with 26 receiving yards himself as the Bills won 26-15.
All of Brown's family and friends refer to him by his nickname, Smokey. The name was bestowed upon him at birth by the boyfriend of his grandmother. “She nicknamed me Smokey because when I first came out, I was blacker than what I am now,” Brown said, referring to his skin color. “Most people are like, ‘Why they call you Smokey? Because you are fast?’ But no.” 
Brown was diagnosed with sickle cell trait in 2016 after suffering from soreness in his hamstrings. He insisted a cyst on his spine that he had treated during the 2016 season was the root cause of his leg issues, and that the sickle cell trait will not affect his football career.
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- "Trick TD sparks Bills in 26-15 Thanksgiving win over Cowboys". www.espn.com. November 28, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
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- Hensley, Jamison. "Ravens' John Brown says sickle cell trait not affecting on-field production". ESPN. Archived from the original on September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.