How much production do we need to see out of Marquise Brown before we call him the best receiver the Ravens have ever drafted?
Will Marquise Brown go down as the best receiver drafted by the Ravens? To answer this question we must determine who the best receiver the Ravens ever drafted was. It’s not a very hard call though. It’s not Travis Taylor. It’s not Mark Clayton or Breshad Perriman. The best receiver the Ravens have drafted thus far is Torrey Smith.
Smith will always be a fan favorite in Baltimore and he was a quality receiver. Nobody is every going to forget his moment at Heinz Field, the game winning catch as a rookie. Nobody is ever going to forget him jumping over Champ Bailey in the best football game any of us have ever seen. If that’s the bar though, Marquise Brown should be expected to reach it.
Torrey Smith had 319 career receptions for 5,141 yards and 41 touchdowns in his career. That’s not the set of numbers Brown has to beat though, since Smith had some of that production for three other teams. To surpass Smith from a statistical point of view Brown needs 213 receptions for 3,591 yards and 30 touchdowns. Those are the numbers Smith provided for the purple and black.
As a rookie Brown had 46 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. Brown was dealing with an injury and was a rookie. This probably won’t be his baseline statistical output. For the sake of this conversation however just imagine a world where Brown has the same numbers every year of his career.
In four years Brown would have 184 receptions for 2,336 yards and 28 touchdowns. Assuming the Ravens pick up his fifth year option and that this is low-balling his production it’s a safe bet that Brown will surpass the numbers Smith had as a Raven.
Passing Smith on a statistical level is one thing, but he also has to live up to the kind of player Smith was in the big moments. Smith had memorable performances that are etched into our memory of Ravens history. On this front Brown is off to a good start.
He opened his rookie season up with a four reception 147 yard performance with two touchdowns. In the second week of the season he had what was essentially a game winning first down catch, as he was smothered in coverage.
It may have been a bad playoff game for the Ravens but Brown definitely showed up against the Titans. He had seven receptions for 126 yards in his first ever playoff game. If Brown stays healthy, these moments will be a small portion of his memorable plays.
Brown has to earn the title of being the best receiver the Ravens ever drafted. We can’t call him that just yet. Things are absolutely on that track though, and it’s not a knock on Torrey Smith. Smith was a good player. Brown has a chance to be a great player. In the 2013 season Smith had a chance to be the Ravens number one target. At the end of the season the Ravens weren’t willing to give him number one receiver money.
Injury is the only thing that could conceivably prevent Brown from getting a second contract in Baltimore. The fact of the matter is that Brown is on pace to outproduce Smith. Smith, who will always be one of my favorite Ravens of all time, was good. Brown has a chance to be a superstar.