Marquise “Hollywood” Brown just turned 23-years old on June 4th. Born in Hollywood, Florida, he played Pop Warner football in the same league as Lamar Jackson and is also the cousin of Antonio Brown. He attended South Broward high school, where he also ran track. Brown transferred to Chaminade-Madonna College preparatory school to continue to play football and run track.
Unfortunately, Brown did not receive any scholarships from D1 schools, so he signed with College of the Canyons. As a rule in California, Junior colleges are not allowed to offer sports scholarships, so Brown ended up having to get a job, working at Six Flags Magic Mountain to help pay the bills. In only six games, Brown turned some heads, catching 50 passes for 754 yards (15.1 YPC) and scoring 10 touchdowns.
By being a four-star JUCO recruit, he secured several D1 scholarship offers and eventually transferred to Oklahoma because he liked their wide-open attack. In his first year at Oklahoma (2017), he excelled with Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, he played in all 13 games and led the team with 1,095 yards (19.2 YPC), and 7 touchdowns.
In his second year, Brown continued to excel (with Kyler Murray at QB), catching 75 passes for 1,318 yards (17.6 YPC) and scored 10 TDs.
At the NFL Combine Brown measured in at 5’9 ?” and weighed 166 pounds. He ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash. Unfortunately, Brown suffered a Lisfranc fracture of his left foot in early December of his senior year of college. His injury restricted him from participating in many of the Combine events.
The Baltimore Ravens thought enough of him and drafted him in the first round in the 2019 NFL Draft. Brown became the number one receiver on the team due to lackluster talent.There were initial concerns that he would not be able to start the regular season, but Week 1 was an explosive one (4-147-2) despite only playing 14 snaps. His next week of 8-86-0 wasn’t bad, but he followed that up with a total of 18 receptions for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns in the next 6 weeks (3-41 per game). Brown then went and pulled down 5 receptions for 42 yards and 2 scores.
For the rest of the season (five weeks), his pedestrian total of 11-65-1 was disappointing. Brown’s Week 13 saw him catching all three targets for -2 yards. In sum, he didn't have a 100-yard game after his Week 1 explosion. In review, Brown’s rookie season was up and down and discouraging.
Brown did miss two-games and ended up as a WR46 on the season, mostly due to his 7 touchdowns on 69 targets, which is a 10.1% score rate, the second-highest at the position. These numbers don’t look sustainable, going forward.
Let’s briefly discuss Brown’s injuries, starting with his LisFranc sprain/fracture.
The LisFranc complex is a very important ligament that surrounds bones that serve as the pillar of the middle of the foot. The LisFranc complex is critical in stabilizing the arch for walking and running, as it transfers the forces generated by the calf muscles to the front of the foot.
This ligament can be sprained or torn (either partially or entirely). Both are quite painful; bruising is visible on the bottom of the foot, and sprains take at minimum take 6-8 weeks to heal. If the ligament tears, like Brown’s, then surgery is required, and a screw is usually placed.
The recovery time for this is usually about 6 months, and there is a low risk of re-injury, but there is a significant risk of midfoot arthritis later in life. 17% of NFL players with this injury never return to play, and those that did (especially offensive) had more significant declines in performance compared to defensive players.
If you go week by week, it’s clear that Brown struggled to stay healthy throughout the season. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed this, claiming that Brown was never at 100% during the 2019 season. In Week 2, he was dealing with a hip injury, and Week 5 it was an ankle injury.
Then in Week 10, while still dealing with the ankle injury from Week 2, he added a thigh injury. The ankle injury was likely much worse than he expected, as it bothered him for the majority of the season. We do not have any firm details on this specific injury; it could have been a mild high-ankle sprain or a moderate low-ankle sprain.
After the season ended, Brown had the screw removed from his Lisfranc injury and will likely feel significantly better with running in the 2020 season. While the screw is essential for recovery, it often hinders the athlete when running. Once it is gone, then these athletes feel normal again.
Now Brown will be playing without the screw, and he should feel better and be able to show more explosiveness. He finished the season playing in 14 games catching 46 passes for 584 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was dynamic when he found the ball but unfortunately not targeted very much. Hopefully, that changes in 2020.
A healthy Brown should continue to see a healthy amount of targets from Lamar Jackson as the top wing receiver. He is only 23-years old and will continue to grow with Jackson’s explosive arm. He will also be healthy and not dealing with the Lisfranc injury.
The rest of the offense is getting better. In the draft, the Ravens chose Devin Duvernay in the third round and James Proche in the sixth. The Ravens also have Miles Boykin, Chris Moore, and veteran Willie Snead. Duvernay will be there underneath the route receiver. At tight end, Mark Andrews returns, with Hayden Hurst now in Atlanta.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Brown has a 44.9% chance of injury in 2020, which translates to a total of less than one game missed. Overall, I am mildly concerned about Brown’s inability to deal with some of these smaller injuries that still linger, like his ankle injury. He needs to stay healthy in 2020 to be effective.
Brown’s game is quickness, speed, and explosion, as he led all D1 in catching of 50+ yards (14) over his two seasons at Oklahoma. We saw some of that during the 2019 season. In 2018 35% of Brown’s receptions gained 20+ yards. His game is comparable to DeSean Jackson.
My injury score for Brown is 6 out of 10. It is secondary to some of these smaller injuries plaguing him as well as possible re-injury to his foot.
In PPR leagues, Brown is going as a WR32 and 81st overall (late June). He may never catch a lot of passes as he isn't an intermediate target. However, he is an explosive player that can put up big numbers when Jackson spots him downfield.
Brown is on the verge of WR4 territory. He is an excellent buy after WR36 and can finish as a WR2. At his current ADP, he is going early in the sixth round. Brown will likely find his way on several of my (Dr. Morse) teams. One of the better boom-or-bust players in 2020.
Injury Risk: Moderate. 6/10.
|Projected Missed||Probability of injury per game ?||Probablity of injury in the season ?|
|Feb 25, 2020||Pedal Lisfranc Fracture||Brown had off-season surgery to remove a screw from his injured foot, hampered by a Lisfranc injury. He is expected to be fine by training camp.|
|Oct 6, 2019||Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Brown suffered the ankle injury during the win over the Steelers. He missed practices in the following days and he was sidelined for to the next two games|
|Dec 1, 2018||Pedal Foot Sprain||Brown was carted off with a clear leg injury and returned to the sideline with crutches and a boot for his left foot.|