Name: Arthur “A.J.” Brown
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Tennessee Titans
College Team: Ole Miss
Draft Status: Round two, 51st overall
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 226 pounds
- Arms: 32 7/8”
- Wingspan: 78”
- Hands: 9 ¾”
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.49
- Vertical Jump: 36 ½”
- Broad Jump: 120”
- Bench Press: 19 reps
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- Dangerous in space
- Jacked – looks like a running back
- Good vs press coverage
- Elite production – back to back 1,250+ yard seasons in the SEC
- Body catches way too often
- Did not run a complex route tree in college
Brown did it all for Ole Miss. He was a two-year starter for the Rebels and averaged 80 receptions, 1,286 yards, with eight touchdowns over that time while keeping his yards per catch over 16. Brown was predominately the slot receiver and took 254 slot snaps in 2018. However, when an injury to DK Metcalf happened, he transitioned rather well to the outside role.
The Tennessee Titans have depth at the receiver positions but top end talent is severely lacking. Outside of Corey Davis who was drafted fifth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, Brown has the highest draft pedigree. Brown has several ways into the starting lineup as early as week one in the NFL, whether that is outside and opposite of Davis, or in the slot if he can beat out free agent Adam Humphries.
The two main threats to Brown’s fantasy relevance are Marcus Mariota and the Titans play-calling. Mariota finished 2018 with only 11 touchdown passes in 14 games – 30th in the league, behind Nick Mullens, Blake Bortles, and Joe Flacco (all played nine games or less). Mariota is on his fifth-year option and needs to prove something if the Titans are going to bring him back past the 2019 season.
The 2018 Titans attempted only 437 pass attempts over the course of the season, second to last in the league. Down the stretch, they relied entirely on the running game and Derrick Henry. But there is a new offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith and if the Titans’ draft reflects anything, it is that they need a better air attack in 2019.
Corey Davis finished as the WR27 in PPR formats last year even though he played all 16 games. Taywan Taylor finished as the WR82 with 13 games played. Those two finishes should serve as the floor and ceiling for Brown in his rookie year. The fact that the volume of passes is so low in Tennessee really hurts Brown’s immediate upside. Anything over 50 receptions would be a shock in his current environment.
Also, it is important to note the recent struggles of rookie receivers with fantasy production. In 2018, only two rookies finished in the top 36; Calvin Ridley (WR20) and DJ Moore (WR36). 2017 also saw two rookies hit fantasy relevance in JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR23) and Cooper Kupp (WR25).
As with any rookie receiver, look for a learning curve and the full potential to be reached in two to three years. If Mariota finally puts it together or the Titans decide to go in a different direction at QB next year, then Brown has a slight chance at fantasy greatness. If Brown had landed with the Colts or Patriots, he would have been the first receiver taken in dynasty drafts.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON
There are not a lot of receivers in the NFL who have the body composition of Brown. The closest player comparison is Le’Veon Bell with more speed. If Bell came out of Michigan State as a slot guy, then Brown is exactly what you would get.
PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE
Before the 2019 NFL Draft, Brown had the chance to be the first receiver off the board in rookie drafts, but his landing spot has pushed him down to the second-to-fourth receiver. Look for Brown to go anywhere from third to seventh overall in rookie drafts.
Projected Startup Draft Range
Brown is currently going at the start of the sixth round in dynasty startup drafts. He is being taken around the 26th receiver spot with players like Courtland Sutton, Tyler Lockett, and fellow rookie DK Metcalf.
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