May 23, 2012

Rookie of the Year: Eddie Brown, 1985

Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

Age: 23 (Dec. 17)
College: Miami (FL)
Height: 6’0”    Weight: 185

Following an outstanding college career in which he was part of the 1983 National Championship team and caught 59 passes for 1114 yards and 9 TDs in ‘84, Brown was chosen by the Bengals in the first round of the 1985 NFL draft (13th overall). The retirement of 12-year WR Isaac Curtis opened a starting spot across from fifth-year veteran Cris Collinsworth, and Brown moved immediately into the lineup.

1985 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 53       
Most receptions, game – 7 (for 124 yds.) at Houston 10/20
Yards – 942 [16]
Most yards, game - 129 (on 5 catches) at New England 12/22
Average gain – 17.8 [19]
TDs – 8 [8, tied with four others]
100-yard receiving games - 3

Attempts – 14
Most attempts, game – 3 (for 7 yds.) at Cleveland 11/24, (for 60 yds.) vs. Houston 12/1
Yards – 129
Most yards, game – 60 (on 3 attempts) vs. Houston 12/1
Average gain – 9.2
TDs – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 1
Yards – 6
TDs – 0

TDs – 8
Points – 48

Awards & Honors:
NFL Rookie of the Year: NEA, Sporting News
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AP

Bengals went 7-9 to finish second in the AFC Central.while placing third in the NFL in total offense (5900 yards), fourth in passing offense (3717), and third in scoring (441 points).

Having added to Cincinnati’s explosive passing offense as a rookie, Brown accumulated 58 catches for 964 yards in 1986. Following the strike-interrupted ’87 season, he had his best year in 1988, catching 53 passes for 1273 yards (24.0 avg.) and 9 TDs as the Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl. Brown was named to the Pro Bowl and received first-team All-NFL recognition from the NEA, second-team from the Associated Press, and was a first-team All-AFC selection of Pro Football Weekly and UPI. Brown played another three years before a neck injury cost him the entire 1992 season and effectively ended his career. While criticized for dropping passes on occasion, his big-play ability was undeniable. Over the course of his seven seasons with the Bengals, Brown caught 363 passes for 6134 yards (16.9 avg.) and 41 touchdowns.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year). 

[Updated 2/9/14]