Oh baby. This post needs no introduction, just sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy. Rookies from the Eagles’ 2022 NFL Draft class are up next... but I had to start with this one.
Stats from this past season
All data only includes players who played 20% snaps minimum. All from PFF!
- 459 snaps outside, 178 in the slot last year.
- 88 receiving grade last year, ranks 4th.
- 61.8% targets caught, ranks 66th.
- 14.9 yards per reception, ranks 18th.
- 3.6 YAC per reception, ranks 63rd.
- 2.72 yards pre route run, ranks 5th.
- 11.7 drop % (9 total drops), ranks 8th worst in the league.
- 50% contested catch % (13/26 total), ranks 40th.
+ Freakish combination of size and strength to defeat press coverage and play the X position
This is a great rep by the outside CB but AJB still gets enough separation to create a throwing window. This is elite WR1 play. He is also one of the most competitive players I've ever watched. Always giving it to CBs after plays and is never, ever physically dominated by anyone pic.twitter.com/y2bYQrhfzX— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ A high level vertical threat with the speed to run away from defenders
He's an elite vertical threat. Has the speed to get over the top and tracks the ball so well. He looks like he's gliding effortlessly past cornerbacks at time. The CB here is flipping with hips with 5 yards of cushion and AJB still gets over the top! pic.twitter.com/ts7BRYGINb— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Excellent ball tracking skills, quick to locate and find the ball in the air.
Ball thrown slightly behind him, no problem either. The underrated part of his game is his ability to track the ball effortlessly down the field, he locates the ball extremely quickly. pic.twitter.com/0hBPyWawKS— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Understands how to get open and the nuances of route running. Not just a big tall fast guy
AJ Brown film thread! Had a lot of fun watching his 2021/20 tape, he's a little different than I expected. Very, very explosive off the line of scrimmage and a true vertical threat. But also nuanced with his routes too, check the little head fake & lean in before breaking out. pic.twitter.com/JTftfWl5EQ— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
This is as good as it gets. Drifts slightly to the left to get in the CBs blind spot, then accelerates as he slows down and use his strength to push him off too. He is far more than just an explosive downhill runner and understands how to get open. He's smart, not just tough. pic.twitter.com/dBpe3N49Jv— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Very quick in and out of his breaks, with the ability to stop and start again extremely quickly
He falls over here and still comes flying out of his break. The speed that he does everything is so impressive. He's the classic example of a guy who just instantly jumps off the screen when you are watching. pic.twitter.com/ECNL1X23LG— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
He's good breaking both in/out especially from the slot. His first step out of his break is fast and he has a great catch radius too which allows him to pluck the ball away from his body. He's very good at all 3 levels of the field. A true number WR1. pic.twitter.com/gHyip71K2o— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Extremely good at YAC, has the speed to outrun opponents and can make people miss in the open field
He doesn't get YAC as consistently as you'd think as he's mainly used down the field, but when he gets a chance to go... He if off. Just pure speed and explosiveness. One bad step as a safety and you aren't catching him. pic.twitter.com/z2eq5xJpBD— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
He is so so smooth and explosive. The ability to stop and start and accelerate quickly is one of the best I've seen. I feel like he has untapped potential in an offense that gets him more targets. pic.twitter.com/6sCEKsFE44— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
Stumbles into his break, regains his balance, explodes out of his break, catches the ball and immediately turns upfield and outruns everyone. He's a special, special player. pic.twitter.com/vCvvG3H0ID— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Really good at using his body to box out CBs.
Physically he is dominant against press coverage and at the stem of his route. He will easily create enough separation to box out defenders or just literally force them to the ground... I never saw him get called for OPI either. He is so strong he gets away with it. pic.twitter.com/QQISQDV5MI— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Hands catcher who can pluck the ball away from his body, in contested situations and on the sideline
And even when he's not open over the top, just go ahead and throw it up to him 1on1! He wins about 50% of his contested catches and it shows on tape. He can extend at the catch point & his best skill is just using his size and strength to box out defenders or cleverly move them. pic.twitter.com/yDMuxtNYg7— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
He is a nightmare to single cover on the outside. I expected a player who dominate more in the short game with consistent YAC but I was wrong. He's a down the field, vertical specialist. A big play machine who excels in contested situations. pic.twitter.com/98JGX0bJCE— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
Look at the reach on this comeback to extend and come back to the football! This is really, really impressive. CBs give him a lot of cushion due to his down field threat and his stop/start ability makes him very good on comeback routes too. There's not much he can't do. pic.twitter.com/yJWp4YnnNT— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
Look at the cushion the CBs give him. Easy CB, jump and high point the football and takes the hit from behind. He has no problem catching in traffic at all as he's bigger than everyone in the secondary. pic.twitter.com/PDFO3jM92m— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
+ Has the mentality to take over games. Always comes up in clutch situations. Has drives where he is borderline unstoppable. A high-level competitor.
+ Very strong blocker, good size and very physically strong
Oh yeah, you can also bring him down in the box in the run game and he'll just shove guys like Malcolm Jenkins back a full yard lol, no big deal. To be fair he doesn't sustain this one but he's a really useful blocker as a WR. pic.twitter.com/Wh5saqlMZL— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
- Has a few too many drops, including some poor concentration ones
So... Any weaknesses? Not really. He could be a little cleaner catching the ball & juggles a few too many. I wonder if more targets night help with this and also - who cares about a few drops really? pic.twitter.com/XFKkNlTTHt— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
- Not consistently clean out of his break and does slip on a fair few occasions
He does stumble coming out his breaks occasionally and it can cause some issues holding onto the football. But we are talking pretty minor stuff. His numbers would be elite WR1 numbers if he didn't get hurt and played in a different offense. The talent is up there with the best. pic.twitter.com/87eTZiEhxM— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) May 2, 2022
- Has struggled with injuries a lot. In his 3 seasons, he has played 69%, 81% and 69% of the total snaps.
- Little bit of a hot streak type of player who can have quiet periods, largely due to the offense he played in. For example, he didn’t have a catch v. the Colts in week 8 until 4 mins left in the 2nd quarter. (He then went on to go for 10-155-1!)
AJ Brown is a stud. A true number 1 receiver who can win in every way possible. He is a downfield vertical threat who can physically beat press coverage. He is a speedster who can create huge plays with yards after the catch. He can win at the catch point and be a contested catch receiver. Oh, and you can also move him around and use him in the slot, as an extra blocker in the run game, or as a decoy with fake reverses etc. Not bad.
The reason why I love watching players individually is you really get to know their game well. People always compare Brown to Deebo Samuel, and I expected a player who consistently gets short targets and gets loads of yards after the catch. I was wrong. You can watch full games of AJ Brown where he gets no YAC. He doesn’t get YAC that often and he is used much more as a downfield, vertical threat. The Titans run a low volume passing game and sometimes he only ever seemed to get deep, low percentage throws. Therefore, he sometimes disappears in games and his numbers do not reflect his talent.
It’s hard to put this into words too, but AJ Brown is a game winner. He is as competitive of a receiver as I have seen for a while, and he seems to always come up clutch. Big games do not faze him, and he consistently makes big plays when the game is on the line. In addition to this, he is a slightly streaky player. He might have quarters where he goes without a catch, but then will suddenly have 4 catches on one drive including a touchdown. When he gets going, he is borderline unstoppable. I think some of these spells without a catch are more to do with the way the Titans offense is run too, than a fault of the player.
Honestly, I could not be more excited about watching AJ Brown play for the Eagles. His biggest problem is his ability to stay on the field. His talent is unquestionable, the only concern I have is his health. His contract is huge, but worth it. He is a top tier wide receiver 1 and should completely alter the way that the Eagles can play on offense next year.