Marquise Brown

Ravens WR Marquise Brown May Not Be Ready For Training Camp

Ravens rookie wide receiver and first-round draft pick Marquise Brown may not be ready for the start of training camp, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes. Back in May, we learned that training camp was the target for Brown, who is recovering from a Lisfranc injury, but now that seems to be in doubt.

As with most first-round picks, the hope is that Brown will be able to contribute right away, but he is especially important to Baltimore’s offense this year. Prior to the draft, the only truly established wideout that the Ravens were rostering was slot receiver Willie Snead, and though the club will rely heavily on the ground game and its talented tight end group, Brown and third-round draft pick Miles Boykin will be instrumental in the development of second-year QB Lamar Jackson.

Brown is undeniably explosive, and his strong route-running and hands complement his breathtaking speed. However, the Lisfranc ailment and his skinny frame are cause for concern, especially since his debut keeps getting pushed back (before the draft, it was believed he would be ready for minicamp).

The good news is that Brown has not had any setbacks, per head coach John Harbaugh. But until he gets on the field and is showing no ill-effects from his injury, Ravens fans will be antsy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Sign First-Round Pick Marquise Brown

The Ravens announced that they’ve verbally agreed to a deal with first-round pick Marquise Brown. In accordance with his slot, the wide receiver will receive a four-year, $11.8MM deal with a $6.6MM signing bonus.

The Ravens have yet to get Brown on the field, but he’s expected to have a big role in the offense once he heals up from his February foot surgery. After the Oklahoma product cracked 1,000 yards receiving with an average of 19.2 yards per catch last year, the Ravens are expecting big things from the man they call “Hollywood.”

There are some concerns about Brown’s durability due to his aforementioned foot malady and his skinny frame, but his speed should allow him to excel from the jump. There was no true consensus on the draft’s top wide receiver this year, but Brown could easily prove to be the best of the bunch.

With Brown (effectively) under contract, that leaves third-round wide receiver Miles Boykin as the lone unsigned player from the Ravens’ draft class.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: CBA, Jets GM Search, Wilkerson, Ravens

Fears of a potential future lockout picked up again earlier this week, when we learned the NFLPA was telling agents to advise their clients to save money in the event of a work stoppage in 2021, when the current CBA expired. Turns out, things might not be so dire after all. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote about that leak, as well as the recent rumors the league would push for an 18-game regular season, and he thinks it’s all performative. La Canfora writes that both sides have to publicly posture, and that “no one wants to give off the air they are rolling over too much.”

La Canfora hears that preliminary negotiations are actually going very well, noting that the NFL and NFLPA “seem more aligned than anytime in recent memory.” In regards to an 18-game schedule or work stoppage, he says he’s “yet to speak to anyone on either side who envisioned either of these scenarios actually playing out.” One source told La Canfora that “everyone involved in this process feels really good about the negotiations.” Interestingly, La Canfora predicts that an “extra playoff game will be added to each conference,” and roster sizes will be expanded when it’s all said and done.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Jets’ general manager search continues to barrel on, but a resolution seems increasingly near. Eagles exec Joe Douglas has been viewed as the favorite for a while now, and La Canfora goes even further. In the same piece, La Canfora writes that “sources said there was already some contact between those parties prior to Douglas’ scheduled formal interview, and people in other front offices would be shocked if he does not take this job.” He adds that Douglas “will be the team’s next general manager barring some unforeseen breakdown between the sides.” La Canfora also scoops that if things do unexpectedly go sideways in the negotiations, “then Chicago exec Champ Kelly, who also has a prior relationship with Adam Gase, is viewed as the next in line.”
  • We found out earlier tonight that free agent Muhammad Wilkerson had been arrested and charged with DWI, and now we have more details. Wilkerson admitted to drinking, telling officers he “had one shot and two beers,” per Rebecca Rosenberg and Larry Celona of the New York Post. Wilkerson had some tough luck, as he was just barely over the legal limit. Wilkerson apparently had a BAC of .09, only slightly above the legal limit of .08. It’s unclear if that will help with his potential discipline from the league, but it could potentially earn him some leniency.
  • We have an update on the Ravens’ two rookie wide receivers, courtesy of Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). First round pick Marquise Brown is still recovering from his Lisfranc foot surgery, and “training camp remains the hope for his return.” Initially the hope was minicamp back in March, but that turned out not to be the case. Meanwhile the Ravens’ third round pick, Miles Boykin, is dealing with a hamstring strain, and Zrebiec writes he “should be getting closer to return.” Boykin and Brown are the only two of the Ravens’ draft picks not to sign yet, although that’s likely not related to their respective injuries. Still, it’s not great that they’re having to miss significant portions of their first offseason.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Ben, Bengals

Sidelined with a Lisfranc injury that kept him from performing at the Combine, Marquise Brown has resumed running, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Although Zreibec adds (on Twitter) Brown will miss Ravens OTAs, he is still believed to be in good shape for an on-time debut. A minicamp return was once thought to be a target of Brown’s, the first wide receiver taken in this year’s draft is believed to be ahead of schedule. The Ravens seem to be expecting Brown to be ready by the time their rookies report for training camp. Lisfranc injuries can be quite tricky, so the Ravens showing caution with Brown certainly makes sense. It will be interesting how the Ravens will use the deep threat, considering how their previous long-range target, John Brown, saw his production hit a wall after Lamar Jackson took the reins last season.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Ben Roethlisberger did not opt to gather Steelers skill-position players together for private workouts in recent years, but that changed recently. The 16th-year quarterback brought several Steelers weapons, including JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner, to his lake house in Georgia for some on-field work, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. This figures to be an interesting offseason for Roethlisberger, who will be working with a younger (and less proven) receiver cast after Antonio Brown‘s ugly departure.
  • The Bengals likely will again turn to Giovani Bernard as Joe Mixon‘s top backup, but the team did add two running backs in the sixth round — Trayveon Williams and a former college backfield stablemate of Mixon’s in Rodney Anderson. The Oklahoma product is coming off an ACL tear that marred his final Sooners season. Anderson, who tore the ligament in September of last year, will not participate in Cincinnati’s offseason program but is expected to be ready by the start of training camp, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes. Anderson left Oklahoma early despite the injury and comes to western Ohio after a litany of maladies. Prior to the ACL tear, he suffered a broken leg, a neck injury that nullified his 2016 season and ankle tendon damage. But Anderson led the Sooners with 1,161 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017.
  • On the subject of reserve running backs, Kenneth Dixon‘s Ravens role may be in jeopardy. The team added Mark Ingram in free agency and drafted Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill in the fourth round. The Baltimore backfield houses holdovers in Dixon and Gus Edwards, but Zreibec writes (subscription required) the older player is the more likely player to be the odd man out. Injuries and suspensions have marred the 2016 fourth-round pick’s career. Dixon did average 5.6 yards per carry on 60 totes last season.

Ravens Notes: Second Round, Brown, Burns

The Ravens will have a pair of third-rounders this evening, but the team currently doesn’t own a second-round pick. It sounds like it’s going to stay that way, as general manager Eric DeCosta said it’s unlikely the team moves up.

“We look at today as an awesome opportunity for this team to get better,” DeCosta said (via the team’s Twitter). “We’ve got two picks at this time, you never know if we’re going to have more than two picks. We’ve got a bunch of picks tomorrow afternoon.

“There’s a possibility that we can trade up into the second round. Probably unlikely that we would do that based on what we’d have to give up to do it.”

The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec tweets that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens end up making a trade to move up in the third round, where they’re currently armed with picks No. 85 and No. 102. The front office has already pulled off one deal during the draft, as the Ravens acquired No. 25, No. 127, and No. 197 from the Eagles in exchange for No. 22.

Let’s check out some more notes out of Baltimore…

  • Even though the team doesn’t have a second, that doesn’t seem to be concerning DeCosta. The general manager told ESPN’s Jamison Hensley that he’s excited about the depth in the third and fourth rounds (Twitter link). “I think this is a really, really good draft in the third and fourth round,” GM Eric DeCosta said. “We see great opportunity for us over the next couple of days.” Baltimore has three fourth-rounders at their disposal.
  • Zrebiec writes that the Ravens would have loved to add a pass rusher last night. However, once Brian Burns was taken by the Panthers at No. 16, the front office felt like none of the remaining outside linebackers had first-round grades. That led them to wideout Marquise Brown, although DeCosta took a risk of missing out on his target by moving down a few slots. “We were nervous to be honest. I was a little bit nervous that Philly might take (Brown), but it’s a calculated risk,” DeCosta said. “We had some other players that were there that we liked. You know we like to make trades. It made sense to gamble, to roll the dice a little bit, so we did.”
  • The Ravens final decision ultimately came down to Brown or Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor, according to Zrebiec. If the team had opted for the offensive lineman, they would have moved him to offensive guard. Taylor wasn’t taken during the first-round of the draft.
  • As Zrebiec writes, the Ravens front office doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to first-round receivers, as Travis Taylor (2000), Mark Clayton (2005) and Breshad Perriman (2015) all disappointed. Predictably, DeCosta said the team’s history didn’t deter him from selecting a wideout with his first draft pick as general manager. “In my mind, this is one of the more electric players in college football this year, so we spent a lot of time looking at him and watching him,” DeCosta said.

Draft Notes: Jones, Brown, Bills, Raiders

Beyond Kyler Murray‘s long-rumored Cardinals fit, landing spots for this draft’s other top quarterbacks are difficult to determine. But Daniel Jones, despite not exactly having impressive college statistics, has gained more steam as a first-round pick. One team has the Duke prospect as the top quarterback on its board, according to Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson (on Twitter). The Giants are believed to be high on him. So are the Patriots. While one scout wondered (via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com) if the former Blue Devils signal-caller would slip to the third round had he not played under David Cutcliffe, who coached both Manning brothers when they were college passers, another scout and a former GM said (via NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig) they each would take Jones over Drew Lock. It certainly looks Jones will land in the first round next week.

Here is the latest from the 2019 draft talent pool:

  • Another first-round hopeful, Marquise Brown, also looks like a lock to hear his name called Thursday. The Oklahoma-honed speedster may be the only guaranteed wideout to go off the board in Round 1, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report notes, after speaking with NFL staffers. Said execs then place Ole Miss alums D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown as possible first-rounders, per Miller. That would stand to make the second round potentially filled with receiver investments. The 49ers have some names in mind.
  • On the subject of the 49ers, they visited with tight end Noah Fant recently, per Sirius XM Radio’s Alex Marvez (on Twitter). This profiles as an interesting use of a visit, with the 49ers closely connected to Nick Bosa at No. 2 and not needing a tight end. But San Francisco did do well with its past Iowa investment at this position, with George Kittle breaking out in a major way in 2018.
  • Despite Rashan Gary‘s past as a top-10 national recruit and his Combine performance, another report has indicated his stock has dipped a bit. After a Thursday report pointed to the Michigan defensive lineman dropping, Miller adds teams are concerned about how little his athleticism translated to production (9.5 sacks in three seasons). Additionally, Miller doubles down on the medical concerns surrounding Gary. Some scouts believe there will be issues on that front, potentially with Gary’s shoulder, which was a trouble spot during his Wolverines run.
  • Ed Oliver‘s stock has risen a bit in the days leading up to the draft, and the Bills are in play for the interior defender at No. 9, Miller writes, adding Buffalo wants to add a bona fide interior pass-rushing presence to complement the space-eating defensive tackles it currently employs.
  • The Raiders ditched their scouting staff going into the draft and are expected to overhaul the department under new GM Mike Mayock. On draft weekend, Oakland’s non-Mayock/Jon Gruden staffers involved in the three-day event will be assistant director of player personnel Trey Scott and director of football administration Tom Delaney, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Delaney has been with the Raiders dating back to the first Gruden era; Scott rose to his current position under Reggie McKenzie‘s watch two years ago.

NFL Draft Rumors: Ravens, Bush, Titans

Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz as players take their final visits:

  • Michigan linebacker Devin Bush will visit the Ravens on Wednesday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Baltimore holds the No. 22 overall pick, but they may have to trade up if they want to land him. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is a surefire first-rounder after putting up 85 tackles, 10 sacks, and 18.5 tackles for loss over the past two years.
  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown and Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell will take their last pre-draft visits to the Titans on Wednesday, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). Both players could be on the radar for Tennessee’s No. 19 overall selection.
  • Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver will meet with the Bills, Rapoport hears. They’re far from the only team interested in Oliver, however, and the rival Jets are apparently among the clubs keen on him. The Jets would be reaching if they took Oliver at No. 3 overall, but they’ve been vocal about their desire to trade down. Meanwhile, the Bills could conceivably entertain the Houston product at No. 9 overall.

NFL Draft Notes: Giants, Haskins, Metcalf

The Giants will host Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins on a top 30 visit on Monday and Tuesday, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After the G-Men brought out the big guns for Haskins’ Pro Day, chatter is building about the Giants possibly targeting the signal caller with the No. 6 overall pick.

Fully expected to become a top-10 pick, Haskins also met with the Broncos (No. 10) and the Redskins (No. 15) last week. The Giants appear to be well in range, but teams tend to move up and reach for stud QBs. The Giants also have the firepower necessary to move up for Oklahoma star Kyler Murray, but they may prefer to spread the wealth and address other areas instead, including the pass rush.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf visited the Ravens on Monday, Rapoport tweets. Metcalf could give them a much-needed shot in the arm at WR, but it’s not a given that he’ll be available when they’re called to the podium at No. 22. For now, their WR consists of new addition Seth Roberts, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, and 2018 draft picks Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott.
  • Speaking of the Ravens‘ WR need, they’ll host Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown on Monday, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). This year, the Ravens are set to pick at No. 22 overall with no picks in the second round due to last year’s Lamar Jackson trade.
  • More from Rapoport, who notes that Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell is visiting with the Bengals. Campbell is a very unlikely target for Cincinnati at No. 11 overall, but he could be a candidate for their second-round choice at No. 42. Last year, Campbell broke out with 90 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns.
  • Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary will huddle up with the Seahawks and Raiders this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
  • Arizona State wide receiver will meet with the N’Keal Harry 49ers on Monday before traveling to the Seahawks, Pelissero hears. Projections for Harry are all over the board, but he appears to be a late-first to early-second round type.
  • Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit the Seahawks on Monday and the Falcons on Tuesday, Schefter hears (Twitter link). The Falcons’ No. 14 pick would probably be a bit high for McGary, who projects as a right tackle at the next level, but a trade-down scenario could bring him to Atlanta.
  • The Patriots have done “extra pre-draft” work on Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson, both of whom visited recently (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Versatile Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford spent Friday visiting with the Bengals, who pick No. 11 (Twitter link via Rapoport). Ford was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and helped Oklahoma win Joe Moore Award, given to the country’s best offensive line.

NFL Draft Rumors: Brown, Harry, Cardinals

This week’s combine re-checks produced very positive news for Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Brown, who has been out of a boot for weeks, was given the thumbs up on his surgically-repaired foot.

Despite the injury, the 5’9″ receiver is widely projected as a first round pick. Last year, Brown put himself on the NFL radar with 75 catches for 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry will work out for the Cardinals on April 20 at ASU, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter). Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, GM Steve Keim, and president Michael Bidwill will be among those on hand for Harry’s only private NFL workout. Harry isn’t a contender for the No. 1 overall pick, but he could be a candidate for the Cardinals’ first pick of the second round (No. 33 overall)
  • The Rams are meeting with Clemson defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell on campus, Rapoport tweets. Both players are expected to go in the first round, but the Rams may be out of range at No. 31 overall.
  • Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will visit the Jaguars on Thursday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
  • Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson will work out for the Falcons on Thursday, Rapoport tweets. The converted wide receiver came away with two interceptions in each of the last two seasons and could go as high as the second round.

NFL Draft Rumors: Metcalf, Bills, Bucs

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Metcalf, who boasts the most impressive physical tools of any wide receiver in this year’s class, could be an option for Buffalo with the No. 9 overall pick.

Some have knocked Metcalf for his lack of natural catching ability, but he had no trouble reeling in the ball in 2017 when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns for Ole Miss. There’s also some concern about Metcalf’s health, but he was cleared for all football activities in January following his October neck surgery.

Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will visit the Buccaneers on Monday, a source tells Rapoport (on Twitter). The Bucs could use another wide receiver after losing DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, but it’s not clear whether they’d be willing to use the No. 5 overall pick at that position.
  • Iowa tight end Noah Fant will visit with the Lions on Monday, Rapoport reports. Fant registered 518 receiving yards and a team-high seven touchdowns in his final campaign with the Hawkeyes. The Lions could use a player like Fant after Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, and Michael Roberts underwhelmed last year. Recently, the Lions strengthened the TE group by adding Jesse James, but there’s still room for improvement.
  • Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker will get together with the Steelers, per RapSheet. Last year, Baker captured the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. But, at 5’11 and 193 pounds, Baker doesn’t offer ideal size for the position.
  • Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit with the Patriots on Monday and the Packers on Tuesday, Rapoport hears. There has been some speculation that McGary could be employed as a guard at the pro level.
  • The Giants are hosting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Rapoport hears. The Giants are armed with picks at No. 6 and 17, though one of those selections may be spent on drafting Eli Manning‘s successor.
  • Charlotte guard Nate Davis will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills, Rapoport hears.