Lions ink draft pick Brown
The Lions have come to terms with sixth-round draft pick Aaron Brown, giving the team three of its 10 draft picks under contract as the start of training camp looms at the end of the month.
The move was noted in the transactions list on the team’s official Web site.
Brown, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back from Texas Christian, will likely battle Aveion Cason and undrafted free agent Antone Smith for the third running back slot behind starter Kevin Smith and offseason free-agent acquisition Maurice Morris.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick, agreed to a contract on the eve of the draft, while the Lions inked a deal with tight end Dan Gronkowski, the third of three seventh-round picks, during last month’s minicamp.
Built more like a wide receiver than a feature back, Brown's niche will likely be on special teams and as a change-of-pace runner, possibly split out wide as a receiver. Blessed with 4.49-second speed in the 40, Brown had a 27.2-yard average and a score on 32 career kick returns. After earning Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and freshman All-American honors after a 758-yard effort in 2005, Brown's best season was his sophomore year for the Horned Frogs, when he racked up 801 yards and nine scores on the ground, adding 455 yards and a TD on 34 receptions.
Injuries slowed him as a junior, limiting him to 490 yards, then he was suspended for the first three games of his senior season for violating a team policy. He'd finish his senior year with 547 yards and a touchdown, then run for 102 yards and a TD in TCU's 17-16 win over Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Off-the-field issues — he missed all but one game as a senior in high school, as well — and injury concerns were as much a reason as any physical deficiencies for his lasting to the sixth round.