First of all I hope everyone has a happy Easter this Sunday! Now let’s get to the article.
This WR prospect piece is on Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, and this is the second write up on an Ole Miss WR (D.K. Metcalf). The 21 year old prospect is 6’1, 230 lb., and is a 2x First Team All-SEC member, becoming so in 2017 and 2018. In his final season in college he caught 85 passes (7th in the nation) for 1,320 yards (6th) and six touchdowns.
Brown is a fascinating receiver coming from an offense that often struggled to dial up good play calls, and didn’t exactly receiver good quarterback play from Jordan Ta’amu either. There’s plenty to like so let’s get to the tape in this breakdown.
Brown isn’t the fastest guy in the draft, but he seems to have a good understanding of how to separate against man coverage. Take this play against Texas A&M for example. He executes a nice, patient fade route against the A&M corner, allowing Ta’amu a clear shot at Brown’s back shoulder.
The pass itself is good, but the problem is Brown bobbles it with one hand and can’t catch it in bounds. That itself is an issue, but I wanted to use this clip to highlight Brown’s route running ability inside the red zone; It’s quite good.
If you followed college football closely last season you may have remembered this play. Brown (#1 in the slot) creates tons of separation on this RPO, and yet Ta’amu makes an ill advised decision and lets the running back keep the ball instead of firing to his wide open receiver for the touchdown.
Brown had every right to complain about this. He was wide open and his quarterback made an incorrect read on the field. Ole Miss’ gameplan against Auburn was frustrating, as Brown was getting enough separation but not enough looks.
As a route runner Brown offers some impressive moves, and he lends some work in the contested catch department as well.
Brown does a nice job of getting a step on the corner against press coverage on this clip. He seems like he’s in the air for the longest time when he reaches the catch point, but makes a nice, smooth, clean catch against pretty good coverage, securing the pass as he hits the ground to move the chains.
This 50/50 catch is also terrific. I give props to Ta’amu for at least finding a way to deliver this to Brown under heavy pressure. Brown’s toughness at the catch point is displayed here, and he pulls down another jump ball on the sidelines for a massive play to keep the game alive for Ole Miss.
In general, Brown’s tape is good, though he has several inconsistencies against press coverage and the catch point. He can get jammed up at times, and while his drop issues aren’t nearly as prominent as Hakeem Butler’s, he could be a little more refined while making contested catches.
Still, all things considered, Brown is a good WR prospect that would make a fine pick by the Titans, though I’d assume he falls to day 2. That’s all the better for Tennessee, who would get a consistent, productive receiver without spending a lot of draft capital. He’s not the most explosive receiver, but with his strong route running, promise at the catch point and red zone potential, A.J. Brown could be another answer for Tennessee at WR.