The Tennessee Titans are set to face the Philadelphia Eagles in what will surely be an afternoon filled with emotional drama. After all, this will be the first time that Titans fans will be forced to watch A.J. Brown play against the team he was drafted by.

Trading Brown last offseason has been a polarizing topic. Many are still upset to this day that the team traded a superstar wideout in his mid-20s. Others have rightly moved on, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt anytime they see Brown going crazy in Philadelphia.

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However, as of late, Titans rookie Treylon Burks has started to make the trade much easier to stomach. Burks was infamously selected by the Titans directly with one of the picks that was acquired for Brown’s services.

Naturally, this has unfairly brought on comparisons between a legitimate nine-figure superstar wideout to a talented rookie. Obviously, the Eagles wide receiver is going to win that debate every time solely based on experience and accomplishments.

Now, if you just compare the beginning of Burks’ and Brown’s rookie years together, they are off to a staggeringly similar start outside of the fact that Burks had a brief stint on the injured reserve list.

Therefore, to be fair, it should be noted that unlike Brown, Burks did have an opportunity to reflect, watch, and learn from the sideline before ultimately returning and making a massive impact.

Nonetheless, these two talented pass-catchers were often compared to each other during the pre-draft process, and those comparisons are only going to grow with each passing year.

With all that said, let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers collected over the first seven games of Burks’ and Brown’s respective careers.

AP Photo/James Kenney

  • 20 catches
  • 337 yards
  • Two touchdowns
  • PFF Grade – 64.6
  • Longest reception – 55 yards
  • Most targets in a game – Eight
  • Produced 64 yards off those eight targets
  • ZERO games played where they logged at least 70 percent of the snaps
  • One 100-yard game
  • Two games averaging at least 15 yards per catch
  • Three games with at least 50 receiving yards
  • Three receptions of 40-plus yards
  • Four receptions of 20-plus yards

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  • 24 catches
  • 334 yards
  • One touchdown (fumble recovery)
  • PFF Grade – 71.6
  • Longest reception – 51 yards
  • Most targets in a game – Eight
  • Produced 111 yards off those eight targets
  • ZERO games played where they logged at least 70 percent of the snaps
  • One 100-yard game
  • Three games averaging at least 15 yards per catch
  • Three games with at least 50 receiving yards
  • Three receptions of 40-plus yards
  • Five receptions of 20-plus yards

AP Photo/John Amis

Stat Burks Brown
Catches 24 20
Yards 334 337
Touchdowns 1 2
PFF Grade 71.6 64.6
Longest reception 51 55
Most targets in a game 8 8
Yards off those targets 111 64
No. of games w/70% snaps 0 0
Games w/ 100+ yards 1 1
Games w/ 15+ yards/rec. 3 2
Games w/ 50+ rec. yards 3 3
40+ yard receptions 3 3
20+ yard receptions 5 4

 

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

No one is saying Burks is going to be the next Brown, nor is anyone saying he’s going to match and/or surpass the on-field impact the Ole Miss product had in Tennessee.

Nevertheless, there’s no denying that these two wide receivers are both extremely talented, while also sharing a ton of similarities.

Everything from the way they’re physically built, to the way they’ve produced to start their respective careers are glaringly similar.

Arguably the most impressive feat they share is the fact that they produced these types of numbers despite neither eclipsing 70 percent of the offense’s snaps in any of their first seven games.

Truthfully, it often felt like Brown was severely underutilized for the majority of his career in Tennessee.

Occasional nagging injuries combined with a Titans philosophy of constantly rotating their best weapons out of the lineup for inferior talents led to Brown only having six career games with double-digit targets over his entire Titans tenure. Brown already has three such games in Philadelphia this season alone.

Brown may be gone, but it seems like the Titans may have gotten lucky once again. Their first-round receiver has all the talent in the world and the team must take advantage of it.

In order for Tennessee to fully maximize Burks’ potential going forward, they have to treat him like a featured weapon in the offense instead of just a complementary asset.

Only time will tell how all this plays out, but it’s clear that Tennessee needs to make a commitment to feeding Burks like the No. 1 wide receiver he’s more than capable of becoming.





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