A.J. Brown draws Anquan Boldin comparisons from Eagles teammates
Brown's presence offers some immediate help for young quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is facing what is likely to be a make-or-break campaign. He will join DeVonta Smith — the Eagles' No. 10 overall pick in 2021 — and Quez Watkins this upcoming season in Philly's passing attack.
Eagles offensive tackle and former first-round draft pick Lane Johnson was impressed by Brown right off the bat, comparing the 24-year-old wideout to one of the greatest NFL receivers in the past two decades.
"When you look at [Brown] on the hoof, you think of Anquan Boldin," Johnson said. "He's 6-foot-1, 225 [pounds] and looks like he's about that action. When you watch the tape and realize that he is … He's a special guy."
Brown has averaged 16.19 yards per catch since his 2019 debut, trailing only Mike Williams (16.78) for the best mark in the NFL (min. 150 receptions), and has 24 receiving touchdowns in that same time. DK Metcalf is the only player from Brown's draft class to have more receiving TDs after his first three years with 29. What's more, Brown's 185 catches and 2,995 receiving yards are the second most for a player after three seasons in Titans' franchise history.
He joins the Eagles coming off a season as the Titans' top receiver, having amassed 869 yards — 393 more yards than the next closest WR (Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, 476 yards).
It's easy to see the similarity between Brown and Boldin, a seven-time 1,000-yard receiver and three-time Pro Bowler who caught 1,076 passes for 13,779 yards and 82 touchdowns over his 14-year career with the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. Boldin was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2003 after racking up 1,377 yards on 101 catches that year, and he went on to lead the NFL in receiving yards per game in 2005 (among players with at least 50 catches).
The question remains: Will Brown be able to build a legacy like Boldin's?
Only time will tell.