If you are looking for one of this year’s best dynasty WR prospects, do NOT get sucked into the D.K. Metcalf hype. Is he a beast? Yes. Is he a gym and workout warrior? Yes. Is he the best WR on the Ole Miss roster? Not even close. Instead, that honor goes to his team mate, A.J. Brown. We can state the obvious comparisons between him and D.K.: smaller, slightly slower, not as strong, and while that may be true, there are many reasons why I would take A.J. way higher then D.K.
For starters, let’s talk about A.J.’s route tree. From what I watched he can run almost every route, whereas D.K. seems to only have one route- go long and jump. A.J. has great hands, and like D.K., can go up and make contested catches. While D.K. may be slightly faster (4.33 40 yd compared to A.J.’s 4.49), A.J. is smart with his speed. He is extremely patient, turning on the gas after the catch or allowing blockers to set up while running a screen.
What I like the most about A.J., is what he does with the ball in his hands after the catch. As he runs more than just a go route, there are many times he is faced with dodging a significant amount of defenders. He can juke, dive, cut and stutter step to gain more yardage. For example, on one play against Auburn, A.J. ran an out route, and after catching the ball, did a stutter step that Shady McCoy would have been proud of, then picked up several more yards before being tackled. Several times while watching highlights, I saw him catch the ball, burst, slow down while a block got set, then speed back up and run the ball in for a touchdown. You can watch some A.J. highlights here
So while D.K. may be the more physically imposing player, one area he cannot even touch A.J. is in the statistics category. D.K.’s best season was 646 yards with 7 TD’s while A.J.’s was 1,320 with 6 TD’s, although he did have 11 TD’s the year prior, though with 1,252 yards. If D.K. were smart, he would play another year in college, prove he can stay healthy and expand on his route tree. Here is a year by year breakdown of the two players:
A.J.: 29 REC 412 YDS 14.2 AVG 2 TD
D.K.: 2 REC 13 YDS 6.5 AVG 2 TD
A.J.: 75 REC 1,252 YDS 16.7 AVG 11 TD
D.K.: 39 REC 646 YDS 16.6 AVG 7 TD
A.J.: 85 REC 1,320 YDS 15.5 AVG 6 TD
D.K.: 26 REC 569 YDS 21.9 AVG 5 TD
Another thing to point out is D.K. also only played in 21 of 36 possible games, compared to A.J. playing in 34 of 36. D.K. also only played in one full season (2017) and while 2018 was A.J.’s only full season, he only missed one game in both 2016 and 2017. Good health, good speed, awesome moves, #1 receiver in the SEC in ’17 and ’18, A.J. Brown is not a workout warrior or combine hero, he is a young man that has the potential to be a long term player on your dynasty roster. So let the joker that has the 1.01 to 1.05 waste his trick on the D.K. one trick pony. Be smart. Trade back, or up, if you need to. Grab A.J. while you can!
Questions? Comments? Hit me up on Twitter@TheMbower85!