NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have added another offensive weapon by selecting Mississippi wide receiver A.J. Brown in the second round with the 51st overall pick in the draft.
Brown set Ole Miss single-season records in catches (85) and yards receiving (1,320) while earning Associated Press All-America third-team honors last season. The 6-foot Brown left Ole Miss with a school-record 2,984 career yards receiving while showcasing a versatile skill set that combines size and speed.
“I do a little bit of everything, honestly,” Brown said Friday night in a conference call.
Tennessee needed to use the second round to boost an offense that scored just 19.4 points per game last season. The Titans used their first-round pick Thursday on Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and focused on defense in their 2018 draft.
The only offensive player Tennessee drafted last year was Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who went in the sixth round and is no longer on the Titans’ roster.
Corey Davis, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 draft, led the Titans with 891 yards receiving and four touchdowns last season. But the Titans didn’t have anyone else with as many as 500 yards receiving.
Brown could help in that regard. He considers himself a quality route runner and a student of the game.
“You have to study the game,” Brown said. “You just can’t be a fast guy or a big guy. You’ve got to know the ins and outs. You have to know defenses and things like that. You’ve got to watch football. I watch football 24/7. I watch Julio Jones run routes all the time.”
The Titans haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Kendall Wright caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards in 2013. They boosted their receiving corps by signing free agent Adam Humphries but wanted to add more targets for Marcus Mariota, who is entering the final year of his contract.
“As a rookie, I’ve got to come in and build that trust with him,” Brown said. “That’s going to be big. With him, he’s going to get a complete receiver. Anything he needs, I’m going to be there.”
Brown said he had a pretty good idea the Titans were interested in him. He spoke with the Titans before the draft and considered Tennessee a likely team to draft him along with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.
“This was one of the teams I thought was going to take me,” Brown said. “I thought a little sooner, but God works in mysterious ways.”
Brown liked the idea of beginning his pro career with the Titans, as he has an older sister who lives in Nashville.
He’s also quite familiar with one of his new teammates. Brown said he grew up about 30 minutes from Simmons, and they played against each other in high school and college.
“He’s a force to be reckoned with,” Brown said. “He’s from the same place, basically. He’s just down the street.”