Titans’ AJ Brown: From Forgotten Man in DK Metcalf Photo to Rising Star

AJ Brown Tennessee Titans DK Metcalf Photo

Getty A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans rookie phenom AJ Brown will take the field for his second career playoff game on Saturday night vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

Expect Baltimore to hone in heavily on Brown, as the wideout has been superb throughout the latter part of the season. Aside from Derrick Henry, there is no one on the Titans offense more capable of carving up a defense than Brown.

However, as opposing NFL teams begin to take notice of Brown’s brilliance, not to long ago this promising rookie was overshadowed by his own college teammate.

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The Unseen Man in the Photo Seen Around the World

We’ve all seen what current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf looks like without a shirt. Whether seeing a man with single-digit body fat serves as self-motivation or self-loathing is up to you. However, what’s certain is we’ve all become aware of the picture that has now become a worldwide viral meme.

The photo took Metcalf from a solid NFL prospect to the Belle of the Ball. He was all the media could talk about leading up to the draft. In return, it actually probably hurt Metcalf more than it helped, as people began to bunch him in with prospects that were perceived to be far superior in the 2019 class.

Metcalf’s muscle, rather than his success at the college level, began to overshadow more productive receivers in the draft. None of which was more notable than his former Ole Miss teammate AJ Brown, who also happens to be in the infamous photo. However, you likely wouldn’t know that, as he’s been cropped out of nearly every single one. We scoured the internet to find you a few photos where people were generous enough to leave Brown in the frame.

AJ Brown is a Budding Star & We Should Have All Seen it Coming

AJ Brown was perceived by many as the top wide receiver prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft heading into his junior season at Ole Miss. His play on the field that year should have done little to deter scouts from their original perception of the wideout. Brown eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark for his second consecutive season and actually finished with career highs in receptions (85) and yards (1320). To put those numbers into better perspective, Metcalf never hauled in more than 39 receptions or recorded more than 646 receiving yards during his college career.

Brown would show out at the combine, running a 4.49 40-yard dash at nearly 230 pounds. Unfortunately, when your college teammate runs a 4.33 at essentially the same body weight, you tend not to get much shine.

Brown dropped down boards due mainly to the fact that he operated mostly out of the slot at Ole Miss. Scouts had questions about whether the wideout could beat press coverage on a regular basis, and if his timed-speed would carry over to game-speed, allowing him to stretch defenses.

Brown would go from a potential top-10 pick to the 19th pick in the second round in the span of about seven months. However, since then he’s proven to be the best wide receiver in the entire class, including Metcalf (who has also been promising).

Brown was the only rookie receiver from his draft class to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving barrier this season. He also finished 2019 tied with New York Giants’ Darius Slayton for the league-high in receiving touchdowns by a rookie, with eight.

Brown finished the regular season on a tear, as he and Ryan Tannehill’s connection has evolved into one of the more lethal in all of football. The Titans budding star receiver found the end zone five times over his last six games, while also recording 114+ receiving yards in four of those contests.

The fact that AJ Brown can look the way he did in those photos, yet literally be thrown to the side is dishearting and another conversation all on its own. However, after a phenomenal rookie season in the NFL, Brown is now front and center and on the verge of superstardom.

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