After a peculiar final year in Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown made his way to Oakland as the newest star player for the Raiders. Although his last year with the Steelers saw a slight dip in stats, Brown still showed that he was an elite receiver.
Brown finished his season with a career-high 15 touchdowns but dipped in total receiving yards by nearly 300 from the prior season with 1,297. By no means bad, these stats may not quite live up to the expectations Brown left after his amazing 2017 campaign.
Now, heading into the 2019 NFL Season, ProFootballFocus.com has ranked Brown as the 22nd best player in the NFL:
Brown earned a career-low 79.0 receiving grade in 2018, and he still caught 104-of-164 targets for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns on the year. That alone speaks volumes to just how productive Brown has been all throughout his career. Among the 66 wide receivers with 300 or more targets in the last five seasons, Brown ranks second in overall grade (93.9), yards per route run (2.53) and total receptions of 15-plus yards (209). Only Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones ranks higher in the three metrics.
Brown has consistently been one of the league’s best receivers. He’s been selected to a Pro-Bowl seven times out of his nine seasons and selected an All-Pro four times. Last year was Brown’s first year since 2013 not being named an All-Pro player.
Other receivers listed above Brown were Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Thomas, Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins. All of them will have to be on notice as Brown will look to climb back up the ladder with his new partnership with quarterback Derek Carr.
Brown was previously listed as the fourth best player in 2018, right behind Jones. With a situation that seems better suited to Brown’s tastes, he could take his game to new heights.
As one might expect, no other Raiders player was listed. The Raiders are full of young players and they will need to prove themselves before bursting through on to any lists.
The possibilities for the young Raiders core are endless. Players like Josh Jacobs and Jonathan Abram are set to impress and see a significant amount of time in their rookie year. In particular, Abram has already been highlighted by players and staff alike.
At the end of the day, the burden to improve personally and as a team lies largely on Brown. Bringing in his experience and having him largely be a leader on the team, the future is in his hands.