The Ravens fleeced the Cardinals in the Marquise Brown trade

Ravens, Marquise Brown (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ravens, Marquise Brown (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens had quite the eventful first night of the draft on Thursday with two high-profile additions. However, perhaps the most notable move the team made was the trade of wide receiver Marquise Brown.

In what was a draft-day stunner at the time, the Ravens sent Brown and the 100th overall pick in the third round to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the 23rd pick. Following a trade down, that pick was eventually turned into Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum.

Trading Brown undoubtedly leaves the Ravens with a massive hole at the wide receiver position — that much cannot be disputed. But with Brown reportedly requesting a trade, there wasn’t much the Ravens could do about that.

The Ravens capitalized on a situation that should have been a net negative and turned it into a net positive. To quote an old phrase, they turned lemons into lemonade.

The Ravens got incredible value in the Marquise Brown trade

Brown was originally drafted by the Ravens with the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Ravens got three solid years out of Brown including a 1,000-yard campaign in 2021.

The belief was that he was set to go into the 2022 season as the team’s top wide receiver, but evidently, wires got twisted somewhere. Whether it was a money thing, a scheme fit thing, or something else, Brown wanted out.

The Ravens kept that information close to their chest as they always do with few leaks indicating that such a trade could be feasible. And yet, when the dust settled, they still managed to get the equivalent of a late first-round pick for him.

Using Jimmy Johnson’s standard draft value chart, the 23rd pick that the Ravens acquired was worth 760 points. When you subtract the 100 points that the 100th pick was worth, you get a total of 660 points which is roughly equivalent to the 28th overall pick in the draft.

The Ravens traded Marquise Brown, a rock-solid WR2 who didn’t want to be in Baltimore anymore and who is in need of a contract extension, for a first-round pick.

That’s a master class from Eric DeCosta.

Yes, it leaves the Ravens with a gaping hole at wide receiver, one they will likely look to fill in the remaining rounds of the draft. But given the situation, there wasn’t a better outcome for the organization.

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Marquise Brown is gone, but the Ravens won the trade.