The Baltimore Ravens filled a big hole with their pick in the first round of the NFL draft and also gave themselves some help for later on in the process.
They needed a wide receiver who could do things, someone with speed that could make defensive coordinators stay up at night. So, after trading back from 22nd in the first round to the No. 25 spot — a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles that netted them two more later-round picks — the Ravens picked speedy Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown. He’s the cousin of Oakland’s Antonio Brown is the kind of player the Ravens desperately needed at wide receiver.
Brown got the aforementioned speed — many felt Brown was one of the fastest wide receivers in college football — and despite having a foot (Lisfranc) injury that required surgery earlier this year, the Ravens picked Brown.
“He’s a playmaker,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said at a late Thursday night press conference. “He’s a guy who can do a lot of different things with the ball in his hands. He’s got outstanding hands. He’s electric.”
DeCosta said they’re hoping to have Brown back and rolling by training camp but that his rehab work was going well so far. When he gets back to 100 percent, the question is if Brown can develop into the type of receiver that the Ravens have been seeking for so long.
If Brown plays as he did at Oklahoma, the Ravens would be thrilled. He made 75 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018 as a junior. With their run-heavy offense in place now, they could use Brown on short screens, various short passes and end-arounds. His speed would be tough to stop and take pressure off of second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.