WR Ole Miss
There is a lot of love being heaped on the Ole Miss receiving corps, with most of it heading toward the athletic upside of DK Metcalf. But there’s another, more productive member of the NWO (Nasty Wide Outs) lurking. Meet AJ Brown.
Brown played a majority of the 2018 season in the slot, amassing 1320 yards on 86 catches. Brown attacks the weak spots in zone defenses with the precision of a veteran, settling down to give his quarterback a window to throw. He also reads space incredibly well, knowing whether he should break off a route short or eat up the defender’s cushion for a longer gain. Once Metcalf went down with an injury, Brown slid to the outside and displayed an ability (in limited reps) to beat press coverage with both his feet and his hands.
Knocks on Brown are going to include his speed (which is potentially a valid concern,) and his lack of reps outside of the slot (which is not.) He did get jammed up sometimes once he split out wide and has a bad habit of drifting sometimes when a play goes to the other side. Brown will also occasionally let the ball travel in on his body, which makes it easier for a corner to break up.
Brown gets open, and that is ultimately a good thing in an NFL increasingly populated by young quarterbacks who hesitate to throw the ball into tight windows. He can be effective paired with a Goff, Prescott, Wentz type as well as getting targeted by a gunslinger.