The Baltimore Ravens are happy with the fact that their first-round pick, Marquise Brown, has been able to get on the field in time for the start of the regular season, participating in the final two preseason games, including the finale last night.
In fact, they were so excited to have him back out there that they even gave him work returning punts. But it did not go well, at all. He attempted to field two punts, one of which he even signaled for a fair catch for, but he muffed both of them, putting them on the ground. He is fortunate the Ravens recovered both.
Brown did not otherwise participate on offense, understandably, given that the team is expecting him to play a big role this season and is only just now returning from a serious foot injury that robbed him of most of the offseason.
He completed his preseason with three receptions for 17 yards, and one carry for a loss of four yards, but the Ravens feel as though they have gotten enough of a look at him to understand how they will be able to implement him in the offense.
But based on what he showed last night, they probably won’t be implementing him in the return game, since you obviously can’t have your return man putting the ball on the ground. Either Tyler Ervin or Cyrus Jones is likely to be responsible for the return game in Baltimore this year.
It will be interesting to see how the depth chart at wide receiver shapes out. Third-round pick Miles Boykin has shown well for himself over the course of the offseason, and in the preseason as well. Veteran Seth Roberts hasn’t really done anything offensively this preseason, so his roster spot may not be guaranteed. Second-year Jaleel Scott has been a surprising performer.
Of course, the passing game won’t be limited to the wide receivers. Lamar Jackson was already developing a rapport with tight ends Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst last season, and that should be expected to continue to develop in their second season together.
How big of a role will Brown have when the season starts? That remains to be seen. They have been slow and methodical bringing him along, not wanting him to have any setbacks from his foot injury, so he is likely not going to being the year as a starter, and rather used sporadically.