The Baltimore Ravens made Marquise Brown the first wide receiver off the board during the 2019 NFL Draft, one of just two wide receivers taken in the first round that year—much in contrast to the way they went flying off the board this year. If memory serves, Chase Claypool was the 11th overall wide receiver taken, by the Pittsburgh Steelers, at pick number 49.
And they drafted him even though they barely got a look at him in the offseason process. He was recovering from a foot injury that was bad enough to require surgery and a couple of screws being bolted in there. He played through his rookie season with them in.
He still managed to pick up almost 600 yards on 46 receptions, however, and scored seven touchdowns, with the Ravens understanding that they were only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of his talent. He missed most of the offseason due to that foot injury, and it wasn’t even assured that he would be active to start the season.
He was, of course, and he had success. And he is doing well for himself already this year as well. Though he hasn’t gotten into the end zone just yet, he already has 16 receptions for 242 yards, with a long reception so far of 47 yards.
Head coach John Harbaugh, however, acknowledged yesterday that though he is more than a year removed from his surgery and the screws are gone, that doesn’t mean that he is playing without any restrictions of any kind.
“I think Marquise did a really good job last year of playing pretty darn well for not being able to practice”, he told reporters yesterday. “We still watch him and monitor him very closely, our people do, to make sure that we … I don’t think he’s completely past all of that yet, especially for a guy who runs so much when you have a foot”.
“He’s done a great job. He’s so tough. He works so hard. He rehabs – rehabs, I don’t know if that’s the right word – but he trains all the time to be out there”, he added. “The practice,he short answer to my long answer is he’s done a good job and it has impacted him greatly”.
So far this season, Brown has logged 168 snaps on offense, averaging 42 snaps per game, which works out to a little more than 70 percent of their total snaps. The Ravens, of course, run a lot of different packages, including heavy personnel with two tight ends and a fullback, so they don’t necessarily have wide receivers who play 100 percent of the snaps.