The Philadelphia Eagles offense certainly became more exciting with the offseason acquisition of A.J. Brown, a much-needed No. 1 wide receiver for a young quarterback in Jalen Hurts. Philadelphia needed help at wide receiver to maximize the talents of DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins, which makes Brown’s presence so vital toward the success of the unit in 2022.
Lane Johnson is already impressed from what he’s seen of Brown, comparing him with one of the best wide receivers over the past two decades.
“When you look at him on the hoof, you think of Anquan Boldin,” Johnson said on JAKIB Sports’ Sports Take on Thursday. “He’s 6-1, 225, and looks like he’s about that action. When you watch the tape and realize that he is — he’s a special guy.”
Brown certainly has a long way to go to put up the numbers of Boldin, but he’s off to a good start. Brown has 24 touchdown catches since the start of 2019 (DK Metcalf is the only player from his draft class to have more after his first three years). Brown’s 185 catches and 2,995 receiving yards were the second most for a player after three seasons in Tennessee Titans’ franchise history. Brown is averaging 16.19 yards per catch since the start of the 2019 season, trailing only Mike Williams (16.78) for the best mark in the NFL (minimum 150 receptions).
Boldin, a seven-time 1,000-yard receiver and three-time Pro Bowl selection, caught 1,076 passes for 13,779 yards and 82 touchdowns in 14 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. He was a key contributor on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII championship team and led the NFL in receiving yards per game in 2005 (among players with at least 50 catches) despite playing alongside future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. Boldin also was the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2003, racking up 1,377 yards on 101 catches — the latter of which are the second-most by a rookie (Jaylen Waddle passed his mark this year).
If the Eagles can get near that production from Brown (assuming he spends the rest of his career in Philadelphia), the franchise will certainly be satisfied. Is Brown the piece that lifts the Eagles over the Cowboys in the NFC East?
“It’s just a lot of preseason hype, that’s all it is,” Johnson said. “Everybody looks at their matchups. When I see the Dallas Cowboys, I see Micah Parsons. I worry about him and DeMarcus Lawrence.”