Marquise Browns flashed as a rookie but year two with the Ravens could be massive.
In his final season with the Oklahoma Sooners, Marquise Brown earned every ounce of his nickname, Hollywood. One Saturday after the next, the wide receiver put on a show that you would’ve wanted to pay money to even watch on TV. So when the Baltimore Ravens selected him with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, they were hoping to see the type of 75-catch, 1,300-yard season that Brown produced in Norman.
That, however, didn’t totally come to fruition. Hollywood Brown exploded out of the gate with 12 catches on 18 targets for 233 yards and two touchdowns in his first two career games. He far from maintained that pace, though, finishing the season with 46 catches on 71 targets for 584 yards and seven scores in 14 games played.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, of course, still went on to win NFL MVP. The next step for Jackson as a young player, though, is to progress as a passer. And the Ravens figure that their 2019 first-round pick will be a big part of that. Brown’s ability to take the top off of defenses but also win with short routes and run-after-catch skills make him dangerous.
And as training camp is gearing up in Baltimore, it certainly appears that the young wide receiver is positioning himself to dwarf his rookie numbers and be that type of dynamic weapon in the Ravens prolific offense. At came, via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Brown said that he’d bulked up to 180 pounds this offseason after getting as low as 157 pounds in 2019.
While Brown only missed two games last season, he was banged up for much of the year. With that added bulk and the experience garnered from a year at the professional level, that puts Brown in a better spot to be the weapon he was drafted to be.
The Ravens could enjoy a true breakout 2020 season from Marquise Brown.
Make no mistake, Baltimore’s offensive success is still going to be heavily predicated on the rushing attack. Jackson’s greatest weapon as a quarterback is his legs and the second-round pick in 2020 of J.K. Dobbins highlights the Ravens’ commitment to the ground game moving forward.
As NFL defensive coordinators adjust to what they saw last season, though, the Ravens will need to adapt as well. That means adding more wrinkles and becoming more multi-faceted. So that would naturally lend itself to using their elite run game to set up the passing attack, specifically utilizing wide receivers more than tight ends.
If that indeed happens, the Ravens wide receiver corps remains relatively shallow. Willie Snead and Miles Boykin, along with rookie Devin Duvernay, all have talent. But none of them offer the immense upside which Brown brings to the table. Subsequently, he should be in line to see far more than the 71 balls targeted at him a year ago.
Again, it remains to be seen how much the Ravens offense will change, especially after the truncated offseason. But Brown and Jackson have developed some rapport and, with the changes Brown has made individually coupled with the potential for offensive adjustments, Hollywood could bring the whole show to Baltimore this season.