Ozzie Newsome might not have been calling the final shot yesterday for the Baltimore Ravens, but it didn’t necessarily feel any different. In typical Ravens fashion, the team moved down three spots from 22 to 25, getting back two extra picks, one in the fourth and another in the sixth, and still were able to draft the player who in all likelihood was their target.
That player? Wide receiver Marquise Brown. ‘Hollywood’ Brown. The cousin of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. Yeah. The Steelers are going to play Brown’s cousin twice a year for the foreseeable future. The way this offseason has gone, it should have been seen as inevitable that we would reach this point.
Brown is one of the fastest players in the draft, even though he is currently recovering from an injury, but he’ll need that speed given his slight frame. He is the lightest player drafted in the first round since Tavon Austin at under 170 pounds.
He is also the fourth wide receiver the Ravens have taken in the first round, the most recent being Breshad Perriman, who after three seasons failed to make the roster last year. He found some success with the Cleveland Browns last year, which he was able to turn into a decent contract in free agency.
Mark Clayton in 2005 was the last wide receiver taken in the first round by Baltimore before that. he would catch 260 passes for 3448 yards and 14 touchdowns in his seven-year career, the first five with the Ravens. Prior to that, they had Travis Taylor in 2000, who would catch 312 passes for 4017 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also only spent five years with the Ravens before finishing up three more seasons elsewhere.
Brown has a fresh start and a team whose record books are not necessarily overly daunting. No player has ever recorded 6000 receiving yards or 500 receptions, and only one player, Todd Heap with 41, has ever recorded more than 30 touchdowns. Marquise’s cousin could set net records in four years.
But Hollywood will need a quarterback who can actually throw him the ball, and right now Lamar Jackson is running it about as much as he is throwing it. Jackson was a first-round pick at quarterback last season, but the team has been conscious about rebuilding the offseason around the running game.
After releasing Michael Crabtree and allowing John Brown to sign elsewhere in free agency, the Ravens retained only slot receiver Willie Snead from their top three targets in 2018. They signed Seth Roberts in free agency earlier this offseason. As the roster is currently constructed, Brown would pretty much have to play immediately.