It seems the current relationship between Ravens fans, myself included, and WR Marquise Brown has been rather love/hate over the last few weeks. Obviously, Brown has made some massive plays and flashed his potential, but at the same time, has struggled with drops. That’s not what Baltimore expected out of a first-round pick in his second season, but I’m here to put an end to the notion that he’s a bust.
For starters, Brown is not your prototypical top-flight receiver. That’s typically a target that’s over six feet tall and can win jump balls on the outside. In reality, that’s just not going to be Brown, and he’s more of a fit within the Ravens’ plan to build a track team around Lamar Jackson. While it may be disappointing that he can’t carry a passing game like a DeAndre Hopkins, he can still become an extremely valuable asset in this offense.
Next, because the Ravens truly lack supporting talent in the WR room, Brown is the receiver that opposing defenses hone in on. They can afford to give help over the top to take away the deep ball, and if he’s regularly drawing a team’s top cornerback, he will naturally be taken out of games more often than we might have hoped.
Finally, as much as we might not want to admit it, Jackson does still need to develop as a passer. In my opinion, he has gotten better, but there’s work to be done. This clearly does not excuse the drops that Brown has had, but as Jackson betters himself, I feel the two will improve in tandem.
So here’s where I stand in my belief in Brown moving forward:
He’s not going to be Baltimore’s number one receiver – or at least he shouldn’t be. However, in the slot and as a number two, we should see him make far more game-breaking, dynamic plays. If the Ravens are able to get their hands on a top-flight guy on the outside, whether that’s Allen Robinson in free agency or another target through trade or the draft, this passing game could take off and become far more dangerous.
Imagine Marquise Brown as a weapon who isn’t garnering all the attention on the outside. Suddenly his speed downfield and his run-after-the-catch ability will be more available to Jackson, and his confidence may very well grow. He certainly needs to improve, but so does the Ravens’ entire receiver corps. If the latter gets better next year, I believe Brown will, too.
Let’s not give up hope on him just yet.