New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft Profile: WR A.J. Brown
By Michael Henken
Here’s the 2019 NFL Draft profile for wide receiver A.J. Brown out of Ole Miss breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and draft projection.
A native of a Starkville, Mississippi, 21-year-old A.J. Brown has shined over the past few years playing his collegiate ball at Ole Miss and has emerged as one of the top wide receiver prospects entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
Excelling at both football and baseball at Starkville High School, Brown became only the second player after Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray to play in both the Under Armour All-America Football Game and the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game.
In fact, Brown committed to play both football and baseball at Ole Miss and was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 19th Round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He has since, however, put his focus on football and has served as a key player for the Rebels throughout the last three seasons.
Entering the starting rotation as a freshman in 2016, Brown totaled 29 receptions for 412 yards with two touchdowns. It was over the last two seasons, however, that he truly emerged as a standout wide receiver in college football.
In 2017, Brown brought in 75 receptions for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns and in 2018 brought in 85 receptions for 1,320 yards and six touchdowns. He was a First-Team All-SEC selection in both of those years.
With that being said, let’s take a look at his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights and if he might be a good fit with the New York Jets.
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When looking at Brown’s strengths as a wide receiver, his strength and physicality are likely what stands out first. Typically playing in the slot, Brown, who stands 6 ft. 1 in. tall and weighs in at about 225 lbs., is a tough player and quite a difficult target for defensive backs to cover.
Standing out as a possessional wide receiver, Brown is a solid route runner with decent quickness and strong hands who excels in short to medium range situations. He also has a knack for catching the ball in traffic, which makes him a valuable asset in the red zone.
His biggest strength, however, may be what he’s able to do once he has the ball in his hands. Using his strong frame, physicality, and toughness, Brown is adept at breaking tackles which makes him dangerous in open space. In other words, his ability to pick up yards-after-the-catch has intrigued many scouts.
While Brown’s strength and physicality immediately stand out as strengths, his biggest weakness is likely the fact that he isn’t the fastest wide receiver in terms of downfield speed.
Because of his lack of deep speed, many have concerns over whether or not he’ll be able to gain separation from top-tier defensive backs at the highest level. In addition, he isn’t necessarily seen as a true No. 1 wide receiver and it’s unclear if he’d be able to find success playing on the outside and away from the slot.
Also, Brown has the size and frame to become a skillful blocker and he’s shown signs of promise in this department, though some feel as if he could look to make improvements in the coming years.
NEW YORK JETS PREDICTION
In regards to where Brown will end up being drafted, the predictions have been all over the place. Undoubtedly one of the top receivers in the draft, some feel as if he’ll come off the board in the first round while others feel as if he could drop a bit due to concerns over his speed and versatility.
Personally, I’d expect him to be a late first-round or second-round selection.
As far as how he could fit in with the New York Jets, that too is a bit of a tricky topic. The Jets are certainly in the market for help at the wide receiver position but selecting Brown with the third overall pick in the draft is out of the question. In addition, the Jets do not currently have a second round pick.
If the organization decides to trade back, they could, however, look to target a wide receiver later in the first round or perhaps in the second if extra picks are acquired. Still, Brown may not be the best option for the green and white, as he appears to have a very similar style to Quincy Enunwa.
The Jets may be looking for more talent on the outside or perhaps a player who is or could blossom into a true No. 1 wideout.VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS