Philadelphia Eagles: A.J. Brown is racking up the preseason accolades

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles have spent heavily on talent in the calendar year of 2022, and so far, the results have earned rave reviews.

Folks love the new vibes presented by performers new and old, really like that Kelly Green is coming back in the not-too-distant future, and, as improbably as it may sound, Howie Roseman has been all but fully redeemed in the eyes of fans who always felt like he cheaped out on positions of need like linebacker and free agent wide receiver.

Considering the vitriolic hatred sent Roseman’s way over the past few years, that’s really saying something.

And yet, of the performers added to the roster, none have earned the same level of hype as A.J. Brown, who might just be the best wide receiver to call South Philadelphia home since T.O. played 22 brilliant but very weird games for Andy Reid back in the mid-00s. Fans have followed him on social media, defended his honor against salty Tennessee Titans fans, and have even purchased his number 11 jersey – or, more realistically, customized their Carson Wentz jerseys with new nameplates – to show support for Jalen Hurts’ buddy-turned-top target.

But hey, don’t just take the collective word of Philadelphia Eagles fans on A.J. Brown’s greatness, as the “1kAlwaysOpen” is getting incredible press this offseason from everyone from PFF to EA Sports.

A.J. Brown’s hype should delight fans of the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to Pro Football Focus, A.J. Brown is the 34th best player in the NFL. No, not the 34th-best wide receiver or even the 34th-best offensive player; PFF believes that Brown is the 34th-best player, period, sandwiched between Los Angeles Chargers center Corey Linsley – who isn’t better than Jason Kelce but whatever – and Kevin Byard, the uber-underrated Tennessee Titans safety who famously got into a spat with Deion Sanders on Twitter that you can read about hereSam Monson celebrated Brown’s overall utility and explicitly pointed out his abilities to beat press coverage consistently, which is a skill few other receivers can boast.

This status makes sense, as Brown maintained the fourth-best PFF grade since 2019, which is a feat that is incredibly impressive, especially since many consider his 2021 campaign a “down year.” Still, unless something massively changes in the next few months, Brown is going to enter the 2022 season as the seventh-ranked wide receiver in the NFL per PFF, which is a rating Philadelphia Eagles fans will happily take, as they haven’t had a top-7 wide receiver since… yeah, probably since T.O.; no offense to Alshon Jeffery.

If that was that, then that would be that, but guess what, gamers? It gets better; as Madden 2023 ratings start to trickle out, Brown has officially landed a rating of 87 heading into the regular season, which ranks 18th in the NFL, tied with Brandin Cooks and Ja’Marr Chase.

Sure, some will call that a disadvantage or say that Brown was robbed, but do you know what? When the difference between the seventh-best wide receiver and the 18th is a measly five points, that number is a solid starting point that could easily land in the top-10 by midseason if Brown balls out in his new home.

Next. Celebrating Craig James’ underrated three-year run. dark

Do any of these accolades particularly matter? Nope, not even a little bit; there’s always some player who gets a ton of hype but ultimately falls short of reaching it and scores more than those who fly under the radar before blowing up in a big way. Still, after entering the 2021 season with very little fanfare, it’s nice to see A.J. Brown and the Philadelphia Eagles get some much-appreciated love, even if it will never compare to the level of excitement practically flowing through the streets of the City of Brotherly Love.