NAME: A.J. Brown
SCHOOL: Ole Miss
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 1
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 225 lbs
PROS: Excellent size, length and strength for a receiver prospect. Has flashed post-catch strength and elusiveness to be a factor in the open field. Rarely asked to make contested catches, but there are a couple in his highlight reel from last season.
As a route runner, quick feet allow him to redirect after getting defenders off balance, creating separation. Not a big vertical threat in Ole Miss’ offense, but still showed the ability to win down the field when called upon. Varies pace in his routes, which helps lull defenders to sleep, allowing him to separate. Strong hands to make catches outside his frame despite tight coverage. Physical and impactful as a blocker.
CONS: Attention to detail and even overall effort seem to wane at times. Really came to life in games against lower-tier opponents, but wasn’t as consistent or as aggressive in all SEC games. Almost half of his yardage on the season and more than half of his 11 touchdowns came against South Alabama, Tennessee-Martin and Louisiana
As a route runner, sort of makes it up as he goes along. Needs to be more aware of defenders and spacing. Often doesn’t finish his patterns strong, allowing defenders to sit in his back pocket instead of creating a throwing window. Route fakes/double moves can be half-hearted, failing to get defenders to bite (on out-‘n-ups specifically).
Overall consistency is a concern. Plenty of unknowns in Brown’s game as well, as Ole Miss had him play exclusively in the slot, which meant he almost never saw press coverage. Concerns about his long speed will abound until he sees more action in the vertical game, specifically on the outside.