Running back Malcolm Brown has spent five seasons with the Rams and is one of only a few players currently on the books with the franchise that also played in St. Louis. Unfortunately for Brown, there is a big chance that head coach Sean McVay and GM Les Sneed will deem the former University of Texas star surplus to requirements in Los Angeles during the offseason. Though his future is not known for certain, most expect Malcolm Brown to hit free agency later this month.
Let's take a look at Malcolm Brown's 2020 season and try to assess exactly what the Rams intend to do with their versatile RB.
How did Malcolm Brown perform in 2020 for the Rams?
Malcolm Brown went into the 2020 season as the Rams' third-choice option at running back behind power back Darrel Henderson and slow-burning rookie-sensation Cam Akers. That didn't stop Brown from featuring heavily on offense, though: Cam Akers took a while to get going in the NFL and only really hit stride in the final weeks of the season and during the Rams playoff games. While Rams fans waited for the highly touted rookie to find his feet/ return from injury, coach McVay stuck with Henderson and Brown in the backfield, with the latter featuring heavily in weeks 1-8.
Brown finished up the season with 4 games with at least 10 carries and four games with more than 40-yards on the ground. He carried the dingus 18 times for 79-yards in week-1 but, from that point on, he never got more than 11 carries in a single game. Aside from that solid wk-1 performance, Brown's rushing stats may not be all that much to write home about, but he did feature heavily in the blocking game, where he did an excellent job of protecting the now-departed Jared Goff, particularly in third down situations.
Brown isn't as explosive as Cam Akers is, and he's not as powerful a runner as Darrel Henderson Jr, but he did perform a vital role in offensive blocking schemes and was a reliable, high-energy deputy throughout 2020.
Brown finished the year with 101 carries for 419 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is a reliable target for QBs too, as evidenced by his 23 receptions for 162 yards. Brown received a final PFF grade of 57.1.
What will the Rams do with Malcolm Brown during the offseason?
There's little doubt that the 'M' in the Rams backfield trio nicknamed Run DMC (Darrell, Malcolm, Cam) can still fulfill a purpose in coach McVey's offense but, with the Rams still $38 million over cap, Brown, who earns $1.6 million per year, might be one of those players sacrificed to help L.A. get back in the green.
What do you think? Can Malcolm Brown still fulfill a role in L.A.? Have your say in the comments section below: