Rookie Rundown: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

Rookie Rundown: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

NFL Draft

Rookie Rundown: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

By

(Matt Bush, USA TODAY Sports)

A true junior prospect, Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown enters the 2019 NFL Draft as one of the most highly rated players at his position. His blend of size, sneaky athleticism and mental makeup will attract plenty of suitors.

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 226 pounds
40 time: 4.49 seconds

Brown was a four-star prep recruit played in every game as a true freshman, starting one. A year later, he would be on the national radar after earning third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC recognition. He would be a first-teamer int he SEC again as a junior and set the school record for yardage.

WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss — stats (2016-18)

Year
Rec
Yards
Avg.
TD
Long
Rush att
Yards
Avg.
TD
2016
29
412
14.2
2
37
0
0
0
0
2017
75
1,252
16.7
11
77
0
0
0
0
2018
85
1,320
15.5
6
84
0
0
0
0

As the stats show, he can be a reception hog and still get down the field. Brown was even drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 2016 amateur draft, selected as an outfielder. He participated in the extended spring practices each of the past three years.

Pros

  • Tremendous route-running skills to create separation and master timing routes — extremely quick-footed
  • Big-bodied receiver with an impressive build
  • Highly competitive and easily coached
  • Hands catcher and has a vault of film displaying his ability to lay out for a ball
  • Dynamic out of the slot due to his ability to change direction, run multiple routes, shield defenders, and get nasty after the catch
  • Tracks the ball well over his shoulders
  • Quality blocker with room to improve
  • Shows multiple gears going up and down throughout routes
  • Difficult to bring down in the open field
  • Tough, gritty, durable

Cons

  • Needs a step to outrun most NFL defensive backs
  • Could struggle to adjust to facing NFL speed and physical cornerbacks jamming him at the line
  • Occasional drops — appear to be concentration lapses and may be correctable
  • Could have a capped ceiling in the NFL of a WR2/glorified possession receiver

Fantasy football outlook

Brown looked freakish at times in college and has the makings of an NFL starter. He would benefit the most, at least early in his career, from playing opposite a downfield threat or a stud whose game often requires double coverage.

It will come as a surprise if he falls out of Round 2. This is a mostly weak receiver class, and a number of NFL teams are in need of his skill set. Washington, Baltimore, Miami, New England, Arizona, among several others, could be the top suitors.

Brown is a late-round fantasy choice this year and has an outside shot of topping 50 balls, in the best-case scenario. The most common route is he is sporadically worked into an offense before given a legitimate shot at starting in Year 2.

THE LATEST

More Huddle
Home