It’s not exactly his fault that he spent the Baltimore Ravens’ rookie minicamp watching from the sidelines, but that is exactly how the team’s first-round draft pick, wide receiver Marquise Brown, toiled away the on-field portion of the phase, and how he will spend all of the offseason up until at least training camp.
“It’s tough”, he admitted, “but at the same time I have fun taking those mental reps, because I kind of have an advantage getting back and being able to watch”. Brown suffered a season-ending injury to his foot at the end of his college career and will remain sidelined for another couple of months.
That left all eyes, instead, on the team’s other wide receiver selected in the draft, third-rounder Miles Boykin out of Notre Dame. He might not be as flashy or have the same pedigree—“Hollywood” Brown is the cousin of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown—but Boykin impressed in his own way: by catching everything around him.
According to Jamison Hensley, he didn’t have any drops during rookie minicamp, and even made some impressive catches, including one low pass that he was able to pluck out of the air just before it hit the ground. Baltimore could certainly use somebody like that.
Really, they could use just about anybody after once again gutting their wide receiver room. They released Michael Crabtree and allowed John Brown to walk in free agency. They were the two starting wide receivers that they picked up in free agency last year.
Retained only were Willie Snead, their slot receiver whom they also added in free agency in 2018 as a restricted free agent, and Chris Moore, who was their number four option at the position and has some experience under his belt now.
The double dip of Brown in the first round and Boykin in the third represents the most significant investment the Ravens have ever made in the wide receiver position in a single draft in their history. While they selected two wide receivers last season, both of them came in the middle to late rounds and neither of them caught a pass.
The only wide receiver the team added in free agency was former Oakland Raider Seth Roberts, who frankly is more of a bit player and has never recorded 500 yards in a single season. He does have 158 receptions for 1826 yards and 13 touchdowns to his name, which is more than can be said for all the Ravens’ other wide receivers combined outside of Snead.
In spite of the investments, the plan is still to center the offense around the ground game with Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram, coupled with their young running quarterback, Lamar Jackson. He went 6-1 as a starter before the Ravens got knocked around in the Wildcard round while the game was in reach.