One of the biggest parts of the sophomore transition in the NFL for young players is about reshaping your body. You can only know for sure what condition your body needs to be in once you experience something, so we very frequently see players drop or add a significant amount of weight between their first and second seasons.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, for example, Benny Snell dropped weight. Diontae Johnson added weight. We see this all across the league. Perhaps one of the most significant shifts in body mass this offseason was the one undertaken by Marquise Brown of the Baltimore Ravens, who recently told reporters that he put on 23 pounds over the course of the past two months.
Though previously listed at 170 pounds (he weighed in at 166 pounds at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine), Brown said that by the end of his rookie season, he weighed just 157 pounds at 5’9”. He told reporters that he reported to training camp bulked up to 180 pounds.
The 25th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Ravens a year ago, Brown was one of the smaller players ever taken in the first round. That didn’t concern Baltimore, nor did the fact that he was rehabbing from a foot injury that ended his final collegiate season at Oklahoma.
Regarded as one of the fastest players in football, the Ravens expect to see that speed in year two. As a rookie, he caught 46 passes for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. In the team’s lone postseason game, he caught seven passes for 126 yards.
“I feel 100 times better than I did last year”, Brown said. “All I’ve got to do now is focus on plays instead of focusing on my feet”. He was never 100 percent at any point during his rookie year, and in fact missed the vast majority of the offseason while continuing to recover from his injury.
180 pounds is still not all that much, of course, but it’s a good weight for a small, 5’9” wide receiver, and it’s the most that Brown has ever weighed in his life. Considering the fact that he was never at full speed last year, there really shouldn’t be any concern about it slowing him down.
The Ravens are hoping to take the passing game to another level this season with Brown as the lead target, supplemented by Myles Boykin and rookie Devin Duvernay, along with veteran slot presence Willie Snead.
In spite of the fact that Lamar Jackson led the league in passing touchdowns last season with 36—a low number for the most in the league—Baltimore still had the fewest pass attempts in the NFL, and in fact, they had more rushing yards (albeit an NFL record) than passing yards on the season. A bulked up ‘Hollywood’ will be key in accomplishing that goal.