In this series I will be taking a look at each of the Ravens 2019 draft picks and what fans should reasonably expect from each player in their second season.
The first of Baltimore’s eight picks was the speedy wide receiver out of Oklahoma and younger cousin to star receiver Antonio Brown, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Brown was selected by the Ravens with the 25th pick in the first round, even after suffering a Lisfranc injury to end his season with the Sooners.
Brown’s blazing speed and quick-strike ability was on full display as a rookie, most notably in his first ever regular season game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. Brown’s first catch went for a 47-yard touchdown on a quick slant. His second catch was even better as he got behind safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to score an 83-yard touchdown. Brown finished his debut with 147 yards and two touchdowns on just four catches.
Although his first game was by far his best, Brown still produced a solid season for a rookie with a nagging foot injury. He finished the 2019 season with 46 catches for 584 yards and tied the franchise record for receiving touchdowns by a rookie with seven. Brown’s second best game came in the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans in which he caught seven passes for 126 yards.
Going into his second career season, the most important thing for Brown is to come back fully healthy and at full speed. Brown has the potential to make a major jump in 2020 and become the team’s first 1,000-yard receiver since Mike Wallace in 2017.
OC Greg Roman can be much more creative with a healthy Brown, such as using him on end arounds, reverses, or jet sweeps. Brown should see an uptick in screen passes thrown his way as well. Brown’s speed can be utilized in a multitude of ways on offense now that he will be fully recovered from his foot injury.
A full offseason to work with QB Lamar Jackson and continue to build upon their chemistry will be vital to Brown taking the next step as a receiver in the NFL. Brown has also spent time with his cousin, Antonio Brown, presumably working on his craft and learning from the future Hall of Famer.
Drafting another receiver who can step in and make an immediate impact should help divert some of the attention of opposing defenses away from Brown and free up more opportunities for him in the passing game. Fully healthy with a year of experience, improved route running, and deeper understanding of the game, it’s fair to expect big things from Hollywood in 2020.