Ravens news: NFL.com lists Marquise Brown to be most improved

The Ravens received promising play from rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown in 2019, and NFL.com suggests he’ll be even better this season.

It doesn’t take too much to suggest the Baltimore Ravens have something potentially special in second-year wide receiver Marquise Brown.

Baltimore’s Round 1 pick from the 2019 NFL Draft shot right out of the gate early his rookie season, putting together a 147-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins before an eight-catch, 86-yard effort the following week versus the Arizona Cardinals. But Brown’s totals flattened a bit for the rest of the year, interrupted at times by a handful of impressive games here and there.

In total, the former Oklahoma star finished the season with 46 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns, and those 584 yards ranked eighth among all rookie wideouts last season.

That’s notable, considering the Ravens passing game targeted its wide receivers fewer than any other team in the league last season.

So it shouldn’t be too big a surprise big things are expected from Brown entering 2020. And NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund tagged Brown as the player likely to improve the most for Baltimore this upcoming season.

She wrote:

We’ve already seen glimpses of what Hollywood can do when Lamar Jackson wants to find him deep. He caught three touchdowns on six deep receptions and 15 such targets as a rookie in 2019. No other Ravens wide receiver had more than three total deep receptions on the season, per [NextGen Stats]. Baltimore’s deep passing game forecasts to improve in 2020, which should mean greater opportunities for Brown.

No doubt, Frelund was considering Brown’s exceptional speed. Brown didn’t participate in the 40-yard time during the 2019 NFL Combine or at his pro day. But there was talk he could have potentially challenged Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross’ 4.22 40-yard record time set back in 2017.

While that possibility is now in the past, one could make the argument Brown will look to coordinate his speed and separation skills with Jackson entering 2020, putting the maximum amount of deep-area threats into Baltimore’s offense. Pro Football Focus recently put Jackson at No. 16, in terms of deep passing, having completed 40 percent of this 20-plus-yard attempts with a passer rating of 111.9.

Considering how “hand in glove” this relationship between the two is, it’s certainly not out of the question to suggest Brown’s deep numbers improve while Jackson’s do as well.

As a result, Brown could tack on huge chunks of yards to his budding profile by the end of year two.

That’s the plan at least. If Frelund’s assessment is correct, the Ravens won’t shy away from taking more and more chances deep down the field, and Brown has already shown the knack for ripping off chunk yards.

Next: Refuting 4 misconceptions about Ravens entering 2020

Tack on the year’s worth of development and growing chemistry with Jackson, and it wouldn’t be too shocking to see Hollywood get close to that 1,000-yard plateau in 2020.

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