Edit made by @swapscenter on IG

AB finally got what he wanted and got traded to the Raiders. They’re in an interesting rebuilding process where they just traded for a 30-year old WR – albeit one of the best, if not the best, in the league. The first thing we think of is how well Amari Cooper played right off the bat on a new team as soon as he was traded, but as good as Amari’s potential is, he’s not Antonio Brown. According to Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception, Antonio Brown’s success rate vs man coverage has been above the 96th percentile of the league’s WRs in each of the last five years; no other WR comes close according to Harmon.

We know that Jon Gruden favors his #1 WRs. From 1998 to 2006, Gruden’s #1 has averaged 141 targets, with the second highest WR target on the team averaging 79. Antonio Brown has averaged 171 targets over the last six years, and had a QB a lot more talented than Derek Carr. He’s going to have to take a hit for that, and probably won’t produce the type of result we’ve been used to his entire career. But because he’s simply an extreme talent, he’ll get open, he’ll command targets, and he’ll make plays. I don’t think we should expect Carr to not even look at AB when he’s being shadowed like was the case with Cooper. Should we expect the ceiling AB had with Ben? No, but Carr is capable of keeping AB afloat as a WR1.

As good as AB is, there will be risk involved. The guy you’re grabbing in the first round usually is there because he’s reliable and there’s confidence that he’ll produce; usually that confidence and reliability is achieved from a sample size in a more or less constant situation, and in this case it’s not. He might not be as consistent, he might not have a high ceiling, but he’s still going to command an elite target share. At his best, Carr had two guys in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree he used very differently; now all of those skills and more is combined into one guy. I would probably move AB from near the bottom of the first tier of WRs to the top of the next tier of WRs with Mike Evans, Adam Thielen, TY Hilton, etc. I much rather have Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, Juju, and probably even OBJ.

AB or OBJ at the beginning of the 2nd? 👇