Marquise “Hollywood” Brown – The Success Story that Should Never have Happened
The path to the NFL is never easy, but for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, the journey was more difficult than most of what his fellow draftees faced. The cousin of Antonio, Brown was premature at birth and grew up raised by a loving single mother who unfortunately had many health problems throughout his childhood. Brown was never wealthy, and his mother sometimes had to rely on welfare to have enough money to care for her children. Coming out of high school, Brown was under-recruited. He originally committed to Utah State but never played a down for the Aggies.
He traveled across the country to attend a community college where he could play football and pursue his dreams. He had almost no money and had to take a job at Six Flags to barely pay for rent and food. Eventually, division one programs took notice, and Oklahoma came knocking. He became a Sooner and was instrumental in the Heisman campaigns of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Baltimore traded back with the Philadelphia Eagles, from pick 22 to 25 in the first round to select Marquise Brown.
Brown underwent Linsfranc foot surgery this past offseason and was held out of the Combine drills, however, he did measure up at the event. Here are his combine measurables:
- Height – 5’9”
- Weight – 166 lbs
- Arms – 30 1/2”
- Hands – 9”
Despite not running at the NFL Combine, Marquise Brown was considered to be among the fastest wide receivers in the 2019 NFL Draft. His elite speed allows him to blow away defenders, and escape downfield. He also has quick abilities. He can make quick cuts and jukes, which makes him exceptional at racking up run after catch (RAC) yards. Brown can catch a ball on a slant route, make a couple of moves, and find himself in the endzone by the end of the play. Marquise Brown is also a great route runner. His routes are crisp, as he uses his quickness to keep them tight. This is a quarterback’s dream, the well-run routes by a fast receiver make his job much easier.
Brown is also a consistent catcher. He will occasionally drop a ball here and there, but usually finds ways to hold on to it. All of these traits lead to his most important attribute. His explosive ability. Marquise Brown can explode on the field at any moment. He can take a deep shot for a long touchdown, or make a cut on a short route and take it to the house. Simply put, Marquise Brown can dominate a game.
Although Marquise Brown can be a dominant force on a football field, there are aspects about him that could be exploited by opponents at the NFL level. First and foremost, he is undersized. He stands at just 5’9″ and weighs just 166 lbs. Matching up against larger NFL cornerbacks may be a problem, and Brown could get roughed up. This leads to concerns about his durability, and a recent injury in college does not encourage the doubtful. Brown injured his foot, and needed surgery to repair this offseason.
The foot injury should not slow him down, but it does lend credence to the idea that he could be fragile at the next level. Aside from these durability concerns, his size is also a problem when trying to grab footballs. Again, he will be matched up with bigger and stronger defensive backs. Jump ball assignments were sometimes difficult for him in college, and in the NFL, he is sure to have problems going vertical against tall defensive backs.
Marquise Brown was one of the hardest workers and most elite talents of the draft. His story can bring tears to the most hard-nosed football fans. The adversity he faced throughout his life is sure to make him stronger. He will fit in right away in Baltimore. He is already close with Lamar Jackson, as the two grew up together in the same area of Florida. That head start on the quarterback to wide receiver relationship will be huge, and the two could rely on each other for years to come.
Prospect Grade – 8.3/10.0
Selection Grade A-
The Baltimore Ravens picked a great receiver near the end of the first round, where he was projected to be picked. Baltimore even traded back with the Eagles to acquire extra draft capital before selecting Brown. The Ravens found an elite talent at a position of need and even traded down to get him. The only reason this is not an A or A+ grade is that Baltimore could have used a bigger bodied receiver. The Ravens are in desperate need of a true number one X receiver. Marquise Brown is a specialty speed player, not the X Baltimore needed. Baltimore did need a speedster anyway and addressed size later in the draft.
Special thanks to Dominic, aka @RavensAnatomy for the graphics used in the video and as the thumbnail!