From now until the 2019 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#1 A.J. Brown /WR Mississippi – 6’1” 225 lbs.
–Quick start/stop feet.
–Mostly lined up in slot, but occasionally played outside and in the backfield.
–Looks more like a running back with ball in his hands.
–Good short distance burst, elusiveness combined with power and balance.
–Catches passes in the middle of the field.
–Runs over would-be tacklers.
–Powerful and effective stiff-arm.
–Same burst off the line of scrimmage whether a run or pass.
–Struggled against better competition
–Didn’t face much press coverage.
–Lost interest in plays not going to his side.
–Lacks deep speed, more of a long strider.
–Needs a lot of volume to be productive.
–2017 and 2018 Biletnikoff Semi-finalist
–Became the second-ever player to be selected to both the Under Armour football and baseball All-American games
–Selected in the 19th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres
–Caught 189 passes for 2,984 yards and 19 touchdowns while returning 7 punts for 47 yards in three years at Ole Miss.
Split out wide right with a 12 yard cushion at the snap, Brown streaks right past his coverage while giving a double move that shakes two defensive backs out of position. He loses, then re-tracks the ball high in the air while being quite aware of the sidelines. The wideout stops his momentum sharly, which causes the defender to slip out of bounds as he is securing the pigskin. Brown darts for another six yards, forcing two Tigers to throw him to the ground for a huge gain!
Lined up in the slot, Brown attacks the corner right of the snap, swimming right past him with 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. This seems to confuse the defender, while the wideout finds a pocket of space between the first and second lines of defense. He snares the ball at its highest point, and immediately takes an angle that puts the three defensive backs on their heels creating open space. Using his fellow receiver’s block downfield, Brown spins, forcing two defenders to knock him out of bounds.
On the first play of the game, split out wide with a 6 yard cushion off the snap, the wideout takes a quick pass at the line of scrimmage. He catches the ball while focusing on the corner in front of him. Brown sinks his hips swivelling away from the first contact, and sets up the safety with a bad angle forcing the second miss. The wideout turns on the jets and dunks underneath for an 18 yard gain that probably should have created 6 yards at most.
Split out far left on a 3rd and 3, Brown faces press coverage at the snap. He sells running outside and cuts back inside, creating a little separation in the middle of the field. The wideout forces a safety to dive and miss him, stops for a split second that causes over-pursuit by other defenders. The receiver spins and leaps forward while being gang tackled for extra yardage.
Projection: late 2nd round to early 4th round
Games Watched: Auburn, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Texas A&M