It’s been a few days since the Philadelphia Eagles announced the signing of James Bradberry, and no one seems to be any less excited than they were when the news was announced. It was his deal that put the cherry on top of an offseason that saw Philly add one of the game’s best wide receivers, fellow 2020 Pro Bowl nod A.J. Brown, along with several all-stars in the making if you will, namely Haason Reddick and a couple of rookies, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.
Brown’s signing is uniquely intriguing in that it adds to the belief that, with the 2022-2023 season being an audition for Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia’s brass has shown that they’re doing everything in their power to ensure his success.
No quarterback will ever complain about having one of the best wideouts in the NFL on staff, and A.J. is clearly that. The question is how good can he be?
Pro Football Focus places A.J. Brown just outside the ‘elite’ tier.
In an intriguing write up by Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash, the best wide receivers in the NFL were ranked and placed into five categories:
- Tier 1: Elite
- Tier 2: Young talents on the cusp of Tier 1
- Tier 3: Former Tier 1 veterans who are eyeing a bounce-back seasons/getting healthy
- Tier 4: Guys who may not be elite but are still high-quality pass-catchers
- Tier 5: The up-and-comers
A.J. Brown lands just outside tier one in the ‘young talents on the cusp of Tier 1’ category. Here’s what Treash offers as his reasoning for saying so.
"The 2022 NFL offseason featured several blockbuster moves, including the trade of wide receiver A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles.The birds now have one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. Throughout his three-year professional career, Brown ranks top-five in both receiving grade and yards per route run. He is an excellent complementary piece to 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith."
The elite class is highlighted by some familiar names: Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Mike Evans. Landing ahead of A.J. Brown in Tier 2 is Deebo Samuel. They’re joined by D.K. Metcalf, CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins, and Terry McLaurin.
Perhaps this is a biased statement, but no one should see anything wrong with bumping A.J. Brown up to that ‘elite’ tier. He battled injuries during the most recent NFL campaign and missed four games. He still wound up with 63 receptions, 869 yards receiving, and five touchdowns.
He racked up 1,000-plus yards receiving in each of his first two seasons (2019 and 2020), and he reached the end zone 19 times. After putting pen to paper on a shiny new four-year, $100 million extension, the hope is Birds fans get the best of A.J. going forward.
If they do, this could be the best add Philadelphia has had at the position since Terrell Owens, and the best part about it is we’re more than certain that Brown’s run with the Eagles won’t end as T.O.’s did. Birds fans can’t wait to see what happens.