Preseason Player Analysis
What You Need to Know:
- Brown caught 33 balls for 458 yards and 3 TDs in 9 regular-season games for the Bills last year.
- He missed Weeks 5 and 7 and was noticeably hobbled in Week 6 by a knee injury. Then he landed on IR and missed 5 games late in the season with a right ankle injury. He also exited Week 3 early with a calf injury and was pulled early from Buffalo’s meaningless Week 17 contest.
- So Brown played 70+% of the offensive snaps in only 7 games last year. He averaged 6.3 targets, 3.8 catches, 52.3 yards and .33 TDs in those outings.
- That’s 11.1 PPR points per game, which would have ranked just 50th among WRs.
- Among 87 WRs with 50+ targets last year, Brown ranked 51st in yards per route run and 55th in Pro Football Focus receiving grade.
- It was all a big step back from 2019, Brown’s first with the Bills.
- He posted a 72-1,060-6 line in 15 games.
- He finished 22nd among WRs in PPR and non-PPR points.
- He ranked 22nd in yards per route run and 24th in PFF receiving grade among 81 WRs with 50+ targets.
- Brown turned 31 in April, so it’s possible that last year was the beginning of the end.
- He was released by the Bills in March and later agreed to a 1-year, $3.75 million deal with the Raiders. That makes him just the 48th highest-paid WR in terms of average annual salary.
- Snaps and targets are up for grabs in Vegas’ WR corps …
- The Raiders lost Nelson Agholor, who led the WRs and ranked 2nd on the team with 82 targets last year, in free agency.
- Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards return after disappointing rookie seasons.
- Hunter Renfrow, who’s ranked 2nd on the Raiders in catches both of the past 2 years, is also back.
- TE Darren Waller returns after easily leading Vegas with 117 and then 146 targets the last 2 seasons. He’s the heavy favorite to lead in targets again.
- The Raiders have ranked 16th, 21st and 21st in Jon Gruden’s 3 seasons at the helm. This figures to remain a run-leaning offense in 2021.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Brown is just 2 years removed from a 1,060-yard season for the Bills. But he’s coming off an injury-riddled and ineffective 2020 campaign, turned 31 in April and settled for a cheap, 1-year deal with the Raiders as a free agent.
We’ll see if Brown can bounce back. If he can, there’s a chance he climbs to the top of a young, unproven Vegas WR depth chart.