Tennessee Titans wide receiver AJ Brown proved last season to be one of the best values in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Titans selected Brown in the second round (No. 51 overall pick), which was an absolute steal.
Brown proceeded to play in all 16 games for Tennessee last season and made a massive impact, despite the Titans’ approach as a run-first offense.
The former Ole Miss standout hauled in 52 receptions for 1,052 yards and eight touchdowns.
Not bad for a rookie who started the season catching passes from an ineffective Marcus Mariota.
Now that Brown will have Ryan Tannehill for a full season, The Athletic likes his odds to do something a Titans player has never done — lead the league in receiving yards.
Brown is +3300 to lead the league in receiving yards in 2020. It’s one of The Athletic’s favorite long-shot bets this season.
From The Athletic:
How good was Brown as a rookie? He led all wide receivers in yards per route run (2.98). That was despite having Marcus Mariota as his quarterback for six games. Now Brown gets Ryan Tannehill for a full season, and Tennessee brings back one of the league’s best play-callers in Arthur Smith. The Titans did nothing to bolster their group of pass-catchers in the offseason, and their number two receiver, Corey Davis, is coming off of toe surgery. The big issue for Brown is that the Titans are a run-first offense, and he’s unlikely to be among the league leaders in targets. Brown finished 24th with 1,051 receiving yards last season. If he can get two to three more targets per game, he could hit here.
I think Brown will have a great second year in the NFL. And I think his numbers will improve with Tannehill under center for the full season, plus teams will likely place their focus on stopping running back Derrick Henry.
But leading the league in receiving yards? That seems a bit ambitious — especially with guys like Michael Thomas and Julio Jones likely to eclipse 1,500 yards in 2020.
Brown is going to be a huge part of the Titans’ success in 2020, but I don’t see this coming to fruition.
Featured image via Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports