To call New England Patriots tight end Pharaoh Brown a blocking tight end is a disservice to Brown. He’s a tight end that can block. Yes, Brown blocks really well; kind of like Daniel Graham.
And like Graham, Brown’s abilities as a receiver get overshadowed because he’s such a good blocker.
But that shouldn’t take away from Brown’s potential as an offensive weapon. Brown was selected to all-conference teams and won an award for his offensive impact while at Oregon. And Brown overcame adversity as a Duck.
Being a blocking tight end is only the beginning of who New England Patriots’ Pharaoh Brown is
If you want to know why Brown excels at blocking, it starts with being a two-way player in high school. Brown played tight end and defensive end for Brush HS in Lyndhurst, Ohio, putting up numbers on both sides of the ball (32 receptions, 753 yards, 10 TDs, 12 sacks as a senior).
Brown also played basketball at Brush, earning first-team all-conference and MVP as a junior. Sounds like Brown could be a great end zone target, thanks to his experience being a double-digit rebounder.
The game has changed over the years. Brown had a better collegiate career than Ben Watson, a former Patriots 2004 first round draft pick. What Brown did in his final two years in Eugene (58-846-11) could had made him a first round draft pick 13 years prior.
Brown made the Pac-10 all-conference teams in 2014 and 2016, and was named the Duane J. Cargill Memorial Award winner as the team's most outstanding offensive impact player in 2014 after a 25-420-6 season.
Those accomplishments are dwarfed by Brown’s Bob Officer Award, which is awarded to a player on the team who excels in spite of physical adversity. In 2014 Brown suffered a catastrophic leg injury in a game against Utah. He tore two ligaments in his knee and stretched an artery in his leg that caused internal bleeding and cut off blood flow below his right shin.
After multiple surgeries and 19 months of rehab, Brown was back on the football field. He then submitted his best season with the Ducks, posting career highs in receptions (33), yards (426) and five scores in 2016. It earned him his second all-conference selection.
Despite his production and overcoming a career-threatening injury, Brown went undrafted in 2017.
Compared to nearly losing a leg, earning a roster spot as an undrafted free agent ain’t nuthin’. Brown made an impression with the then-Oakland Raiders and was originally signed to the practice squad. Brown is now on his fifth team and seventh season in the league.
Brown hasn’t seen the ball much in his career, with 53 receptions, 549 yards and three TDs to his name. That might not change with the New England Patriots, as Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki are ahead of Brown on the depth chart.
The Patriots are glad to have Brown, especially after he produced the offensive highlight of this young 2023 season with his 58-yard catch and run for a score. If Henry or Gesicki go down with an injury, the coaching staff should feel confident to show how much more Brown can offer.