Whether he is in black and yellow or silver and black, Antonio Brown has little competition for the title of the league’s best receiver.
Stats aside, Brown possesses all the necessary qualities to continue the dominance in the league. Yes, he is moving from the east coast (and soon to Las Vegas), but his skillset has not changed.
For Brown alone, his expectations should not be any lower than they were last year. The Oakland Raiders have a significant number of mouths to feed, but when he is on the field, Brown should be the team’s main target.
In the last five years, Brown has led the league in receptions and receiving yards twice. In 2017, Brown led the league in receiving yards despite only playing 14 games. Brown’s 2018 season was equally impressive as he led the league in touchdowns while only appearing in 15 games.
For the last six seasons, Brown has recorded 100+ touches in every season. If Derek Carr and the Raiders can keep Brown on this rapid pace, the entire team should benefit.
Brown joins a recently recharged Raiders team that has boosted every position they could to benefit the team. The offensive line has been rejuvenated, which should give Carr ample time to connect with Brown on deep throws.
The most significant aspect about Brown’s game is that he can do it all. Brown is one of the league’s best at creating space on deep routes but has no problem getting open on shorter routes. This is beneficial because he can adjust to what the Raiders need for each game.
There has been a lot of dust kicked up around the Raiders organization this offseason, and Hard Knocks coming to town has not helped. From arriving to training camp on a hot air balloon, to severely frostbitten feet, to helmets, Brown has been at the center of most of the less positive news. But, when we dive deeper into the instances, we can see most of them could be chalked up as misunderstandings. Perhaps the hot air balloon can be ruled as showmanship, but the frostbite and helmet issues seem to just be attempts to better his well-being.
Antonio Brown looks incredibly invested to the team when he is on the sidelines. He is constantly near Carr or Gruden, and they appear to be getting along quite well. Thanks to Hard Knocks, fans have been able to watch the trio joking around and forming impressive chemistry. The calmness Carr and Gruden exhibit can give relief to Raiders fans that maybe, just maybe, the team has had more knowledge about the situation than they let on.
Antonio Brown has all the pieces to continue his dominance. His quarterback has protection, he has other targets to draw attention away, and he is Antonio Brown. The first deep ball Brown catches from Carr is going to be electric.
Projected stats: 102 receptions, 1350 yards, 10 touchdowns