2019 NFL Draft Grades: Ravens get an A for taking Marquise Brown to boost offense after trading back

With the No. 22 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Marquise Brown, wide receiver out of Oklahoma. Blazing speed with the lateral quickness to match; Brown has the ability to put his foot in the ground and get in and out of cuts, leaving defensive backs behind. Lacks strength as a blocker but is willing to do the job. Brown is great in the screen game, catches the ball cleanly, and is able to make defenders miss in small areas. A home-run hitter who suffered a Lisfranc injury that could sideline him till late summer.

Draft tracker: Get grades for every pick

Ravens: A

Pete Prisco: I love this kid. I think he's an explosive player. Yes, he's small at 170 pounds, but this guy can fly. If you're gonna make Lamar Jackson a better quarterback, you need good players around him to make him better and this kid will help.

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Fantasy impact

Dave Richard: I hate to admit it, but Marquise Brown is a good fit for the Ravens offense. Unfortunately, it's a bad fit for Fantasy. Lamar Jackson is certain to take his deep shots with Brown, but we've already seen a good dose of Jackson's passing and it isn't very good. So unless Jackson somehow improves his accuracy, Brown won't be a stat machine. Moreover, the Ravens are turning to a run-first approach. The threat of Brown taking the top off the defense actually helps their run game because safeties can't crowd the line of scrimmage. I would have preferred about 20 other destinations for Brown. I guess he's worth a very late pick on Draft Day but it should be done with almost no major expectations. Brown will slide a bit in dynasty drafts but remain a top-6 or 8 pick.

NFL comparison: Santonio Holmes

Chris Trapasso: Kind of a throwback here, and it's not the more commonly used comparison to DeSean Jackson. Holmes, who's a little bigger than Brown, averaged 18.4 yards per reception with 11 scores in his final season at Ohio State in 2005, almost identical to Brown's average of 18.3 during his two seasons in Norman with the Sooners. Holmes was a sub 4.40 guy as he entered the NFL -- which is around how fast Brown likely is -- and quickly established himself as a serious big-play threat who had some polish to his game with route running and positional flexibility. Brown isn't simply a screen and deep ball target, and he's crafty enough play on the outside and create space before the ball his thrown his way. 

College career

Ryan Wilson: Brown didn't receive any scholarship offers coming out of high school in Hollywood, Florida, but that changed after a year in junior college. During his first season in Norman, Oklahoma in 2017, he played in 13 games and caught 57 passes for 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2018, he played in 12 games and caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Among all FBS wide receivers, Brown ranked fourth in Pro Football Focus' yards per route run metric and was fifth in deep passing yards.

Strengths

Ryan Wilson: Brown has blazing speed with the lateral quickness to match -- he has the ability to put his foot in the ground and get in and out of cuts, leaving defensive backs behind. And while he lacks strength as a blocker, he's willing to do the job. But Brown isn't just a one-trick pony -- he's great in the screen game, catches the ball cleanly, and is able to make defenders miss in small areas. A legit home-run hitter.

Home run No. 1:

Home run No. 2:

Weaknesses

Ryan Wilson: Brown won't make many contested catches because of his size, which also raises durability concerns. He suffered a Lisfranc injury in February that could sideline him till late summer.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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