Is A.J. Brown Worth His Current ADP?

In the famous words of Taylor Twellman, “What are we doing? A.J. Brown had a polarizing rookie campaign. He saw action in all 16 games, but only started in 11 of them. He saw 84 targets and caught 52 of them, for a catch percentage of 61.9%. For comparison, Julio Jones’ catch rate was 63.1%, Deandre Hopkins’ was 69%, nice, and Michael Thomas’ was a whopping 80.5%. This can be a very subjective stat, but I want to paint an entire picture here instead of leaving any stone left unturned. 

Brown went over 1,000 receiving yards, while tacking on eight touchdowns. He also had three rushes for 60 yards and one score on the ground. In this article, we will go over why I think you should swim in the opposite direction this draft season and not take Brown where others are taking him.

Average Draft Position

As you can see below, Brown has seen a steady increase in his ADP since October, while his counterpart, Corey Davis, is on the opposite side of the curve. Brown is now being drafted in the same range as Chris Godwin, Odell Beckham Jr., and Amari Cooper. Brown will be 23 this football season, Cooper will be 26, Godwin will be 24, and OBJ will be turning 28 in the middle of the season. Davis is going to be 25 when the regular season rolls around.

Credit: DLF

Snap Share

While Brown’s snap share went up, his targets didn’t see much of an increase. I think that it could be assumed that he could see more targets going forward, especially with the loss of the other skill players, but the data last year shows that even when his snaps increased his targets didn’t go up all that much. Even with Brown leading the team in targets, he will remain a boom or bust each week and will rely on breaking off a long run to produce for you. 

What Do the Stats Say?

While it is impressive for rookies to go over 1,000 yards receiving and to almost break double-digit touchdowns, this doesn’t paint the entirety of the picture. Brown only saw more than eight targets once last season and only had eight receptions in one contest. 

In the five games that he broke 100 yards receiving, in only one of them did the wide receiver have more than five receptions.  In those five games, he had long receptions of 51 yards, 60 yards, 91 yards, 65 yards, and 51 yards. Thirty percent of Brown’s yardage came on those five receptions alone. If you were to take Brown’s average yardage over those 11 games that he failed to break 100 yards in, he would only be averaging 38 yards per game.

There is no doubt Brown has the juice. He shows his YAC ability in this clip against Atlanta.