#19 A.J. Brown, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
The second Wide Receiver from Ole Miss, A.J. Brown, takes spot 19 in the Raider Ramble Draft Top 32 in 32. Brown is a better Wide Receiver than his former teammate D.K. Metcalf, but Brown isn’t the physical freak Metcalf is and that’s why Metcalf ranks higher. Brown ranked sixth in the country with 1,320 receiving yards and what makes that even more impressive, is that Brown was very productive while playing with an inept quarterback. It will be interesting to see what Brown is able to do with a decent quarterback.
A.J. Brown is an excellent route runner who showed the ability to get in and out of his breaks quickly, which creates more separation from defensive backs. Against off coverage, Brown is very good at eliminating the defensive back’s cushion and waiting until the last minute to make his break. Again, this allows Brown to create separation. Browns ball skills are also top-notch as he showed the ability to come back to the ball, fight for 50/50 balls and make catches in traffic. While Brown is an exceptional route runner, at times his hips looks stiff and he struggles to run outside breaking routes. If Brown can find a way to loosen up his hips, he should be able to run the full route tree and run the tree very effectively.
Fit for the Raiders
At the end of the regular season, the Raiders were in desperate need for wide receiver help. They addressed that need by adding Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams in free agency, which should drop A.J. Brown on the Raiders’ draft board. While the Raiders could still use help at slot receiver, Browns’ struggles with out breaking routes suggest that he projects as better as an outside receiver. While Brown is certainly talented enough for the Raiders to select him with one of their picks in the late 20s, next season he will likely be wearing another team’s jersey.
The last time the Titans had a player finish the season with 1,000 yards was in 2015, when Tight End Delanie Walker accomplished it. Seeing as Walker is coming off an injury and will turn 35-years old in August, it would be smart for the Titans to take the best offensive weapon available. Last year the Ravens ranked 22nd in receiving yards and let two of their top three Wide Receivers (in terms of yards) go in the offseason and only added former Raider, Seth Roberts. Needless to say, the Ravens could use some help at wide receiver and Brown might be the best available at pick 22. Doug Baldwin turns 31-years old in September and Tyler Lockett is primarily a slot receiver for the Seahawks. The Hawks could cut Baldwin after the 2019 season and save $11 million in cap space for the 2020 season. With the combination of Baldwin’s age, contract and Lockett’s limitations as a receiver, it might make sense for the Seahawks to look ahead and take Brown with their 21st pick.