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Don’t sleep on Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, a first-round player

Sep 29, 2018; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver A.J.
Brown (1) is defended by LSU Tigers cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. (5) during the second half of a game at Tiger Stadium.
Metcalf.
Brown wind up being the better pro?
While Metcalf has the speed, Brown showcased an ability to make people miss in the open field on his way to being the only receiver in the class to produce back-to-back seasons with at least 1,200 receiving yards in 2017 and 2018.
Brown tied for 17th in the nation with 17 missed tackles forced on 84 receptions in 2018, and when you watch him play, it’s easy to see why.
In three years at Ole Miss, Brown forced 50 missed tackles on 188 receptions, and it was that ability to run through tackles and cut away from players that helped him reach such lofty yardage totals.
After Metcalf’s injury in Week 7, Brown was moved to the outside, and over the final four games of the season, he saw just five snaps from the slot.
As we have seen, Brown is a great fit as a slot receiver in the NFL — and we know that’s very valuable in today’s NFL — but this past season, he was also able to showcase his ability to win on the outside in Metcalf’s absence.
A safe pair of hands and a playmaker that is tough to bring down in the open field once he gets going, he is good enough to be drafted among the top 20 on draft night, but he could represent great value if he slips into the second round.

Sep 29, 2018; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver A.J. Brown (1) is defended by LSU Tigers cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. (5) during the second half of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After he ran a blazing fast 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the first name people thought of when you mentioned an Ole Miss wide receiver was D.K. Metcalf. Granted, Metcalf did put on a show in just over four seconds, but could his teammate A.J. Brown wind up being the better pro?

On our latest PFF Big Board, Brown ranks as the 20th-best player available in the 2019 NFL Draft, just behind Metcalf at number 17. While Metcalf has the speed, Brown showcased an ability to make people miss in the open field on his way to being the only receiver in the class to produce back-to-back seasons with at least 1,200 receiving yards in 2017 and 2018.

Brown tied for 17th in the nation with 17 missed tackles forced on 84 receptions in 2018, and when you watch him play, it’s easy to see why. He might not be a burner, but he runs with such power that he is tough to bring down once he builds up a head of steam. Against Vanderbilt alone, he forced four missed tackles, including this one on an in route where he just powers through the tackle attempt by the safety.

In three years at Ole Miss, Brown forced 50 missed tackles on 188 receptions, and it was that ability to run through tackles and cut away from players…

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