2019 Oakland Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: A.J. Brown
School: Ole Miss
Weight: 225 pounds
Round Projection: First
Like bigger receivers, Brown possesses strong hands. Yet, he will not solely rely on them to secure a grab. When going to the ground, Brown can cradle the ball with no movement. During his days at Oxford, occasionally erratic quarterback play would test the ability to make grabs.
Primarily, Brown is not a burner. He will not blow by a defender on pure acceleration alone. In addition, his burst is average at best. However, for his size, Brown runs well enough to break away from corners and safeties. If you want a stopwatch guy, look elsewhere. On the other hand, Brown possesses the football speed to get vertical.
In the open field, especially over the middle, Brown can shake away from defender. Now, he is not an ultra-shifty wideout with endless moves, there is enough wiggle to get loose.
Despite his overwhelming size, Ole Miss place Brown in the slot on a regular basis. With that, he actually improved his draft stock with the diverse array of routes that he needed to run in the Rebels’ offense. Due to his frame, the slant, whether quick of intermediate appears as a staple. Also, watch for the deep out, screen, and post. More importantly, Brown can run these with efficiency all over the field.
In and out of his cuts, Brown shows an evolving technical improvement. From his first game in Oxford until now, he became comfortable off the snap.
If Brown possesses one superlative trait, power fits the description. When corners attempt to jam or muscle him, Brown will beat them with strength while not disturbing his route. Yet, perhaps where Brown can take over a game is after the reception. Additionally, his film provides play after play of breaking tackles and yards after catch. In actuality, Brown powers through corners like a running back, spinning and bulldozing down the field.
Whether it is blocking, high pointing the ball, or fighting for yards, Brown brings a nasty disposition to the field. With no subtlety, he attempts to manhandle every player in his way. As a result, Brown gets open with sheer brutality.
In 2004, Jon Gruden drafted LSU wideout Michael Clayton. While Clayton owned a two-inch height advantage over Brown, the same potential physicality traits existed. With the Raiders, Gruden wants to rebuild the team in his own image. In releasing Michael Crabtree, the Raiders lack a physical wideout. Crabtree provided Derek Carr a red zone threat, a target on the stutter go, and screens. Now, the team lacks that type of power from the receiver position. With Brown, Oakland could bring that type of player into the fold.