A.J. Brown: The Real Star WR from Ole Miss

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

A.J. Brown (6’1”, 225), Wide Receiver, Ole Miss


19 Aggregate Score (3.5 Star Prospect)

As D.K. Metcalf has been taking the spotlight due to his combine performance and intriguing traits, fellow Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown has been hanging around in the shadows.  Even though we all should be excited for Metcalf, Brown has the much more impressive resume, is more reliable and more versatile then Metcalf.  Brown is a very exciting prospect that is starting to become a value in rookie drafts.

Brown was a 4-star recruit coming out of Starkville, Mississippi.  Brown was an Under Armour All-American selection for both football and baseball. He was also selected to the all-state team his senior year.  After receiving some big time offers from teams such as Alabama and Auburn, Brown decided to commit to Ole Miss.

College Production

Brown was extremely productive while at Ole Miss.  As a freshman, Brown played in all 12 games and had 29 catches for 412 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Brown then saw a huge increase in his role his sophomore year by catching 75 ball for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Then during his junior year, Brown still found a way to improve and increase his role.  Brown had 85 catches for 1,320 yards and 6 touchdowns.  In both his sophomore and junior seasons, Brown was an All-SEC first team selection, an All-American third team selection (AP) and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.

This is obviously great production for Brown, especially in an offense that had Metcalf, Damarkus Lodge and Dawson Knox all competing for targets.  Brown definitely benefited from Metcalf and Lodge spreading the field on the outside, but I honestly believe that he would have been able to produce in any offense in college.

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Brown does have some great speed but won’t be a burner in the NFL.  He is really fast getting off the line of scrimmage and is quick in the open field.  Brown does a great job of displaying his speed and acceleration after the catch.  Brown accelerates to space and does a good job of making guys miss, which allows him to pick up quite a bit of yards after the catch.  When you combine his speed with his size, Brown can be extremely successful out of the slot and even contribute on the outside.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 4)

It seems like Brown is always open.  He is very crisp and sharp with his routes, which allows him to gain an extra step on defenders.  Brown excels in the short and intermediate area of the field, mainly running curls, digs and slants.  Brown showed that he can create separation on the outside.  His versatility should help him see the field and experience success right away.  My only complaint about Brown’s route running is that I wish he would have displayed a larger route tree with some deeper routes.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 2)

I am by far the lowest of The Fantasy Fanalysts on Brown’s blocking.  I just don’t see it.  He has the size and does show some decent blocks, but from what I saw, he was extremely inconsistent.  I may have to go back and watch some more and see what the rest of the crew is seeing.  Either way, he has a base there that should allow him to develop and improve as a blocker.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Brown displays some solid handwork in his routes.  He uses his hands to help create separation, which is extremely effective when combined with his speed. Brown does a great job of using his hands to catch the ball and not letting it come in on his body.  He is also great at finding the open space and positioning himself away from defenders.  Brown did show instances of struggling with contested catches but that’s not a huge part of his game.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Brown displays a ton of athleticism after the catch.  He is very elusive and is constantly extending plays by making defenders miss.  Brown has great body control and rarely goes down on first contact.  He can stop on a dime and accelerate extremely quickly.  Brown’s ability after the catch will help him experience success in the NFL.

Conclusion: Mid – Late 1st round pick

Brown projects to be primarily a slot receiver in the NFL.  If given this role, he can end up being a QB’s best friend.  Brown has all the tools to be a consistent top 24 WR for fantasy purposes.  As it stands, I’d feel extremely comfortable taking Brown in the middle of the 1st round of rookie drafts.  If he ends up being drafted to a great landing spot in the 1st or early 2nd round of the NFL Draft, I could definitely understand taking him towards the 1.03/1.04.  Get excited people, Brown is going to be a stud in the NFL!