Marlon Brown has tied the franchise record for the Baltimore Ravens with the most touchdown receptions by a rookie. Baltimore may have finally found a receiver through the draft --or so we all thought--
We all know how this story ends. The stats took a complete plummet
Clearly something changed. Some say he just can't assemble the parts again. Others say it was caused by the complete mismatch with how the ravens WR group forced Flacco his way.
2013 receivers: Brandon Stokley, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown
Torrey was pulling the #1 CB his way, and also garnered his first 1,000 and only yard season. Jacoby was acting as the #2 receiver (lol). Stokley attracted just enough attention with his name and reputation, leaving a big (6'4") receiver to attack whatever depth cornerback was left. These mismatches allowed the newcomer to bully the opposition to seven touchdowns and a great rookie start.
Once Kamar Aiken and Steve Smith Sr. arrived though, the depth chart was filled with actual receiving talent. This forced Marlon to sink or swim. Clearly Marlon is not of the same nature as his name, sinking immediately.
Baltimore has re-signed Marlon to a contract, after the expiration this year: to which many editors and I answered, "What?"
This is the same scenario as Tommy Streeter a few years ago. Good size or numbers that coaches drool over, but the player can't seem to put every aspect of NFL play together.
Marlon last season only caught 14 passes. Sitting behind obvious talents Aiken and SSSr. The Ravens also started playing Darren Waller, Michael Campanaro, and Jeremy Butler over Brown. New additions Chris Givens & Chris Matthews also started receiving playing time over Marlon. The man has the physical attributes, but the play-making completely dropped off. From a game-winning toe-tap touchdown against the Vikings to bench-warming two seasons later, this isn't what Baltimore or Brown want.
I remember drops started occurring when playtime finally happened. Looking over the stats, Marlon Brown was targeted 30 times last season. Of those thirty, Marlon caught 14. Two drops were his fault, and the others were "contested". Being 6'4" you don't have many excuses to not out-bully the opposition though, and when your job is to be big, and stay strong, those are your opportunities to continue cashing the paycheck.
I am hoping in camp Marlon can re-load the last save file from 2013, and progress once again. Either way the next move will be in the best interest of the Ravens,