Marquise Brown Fantasy
In recent years we’ve seen players like Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks demand heavy attention from defenses due to their elite play breaking speed. The value of having an elite deep threat on the field cannot be overstated in today’s NFL. Will Fuller of the Houston Texans has struggled to stay healthy over the last few seasons but when he is on the field it changes the entire dynamic of the Texans offense by opening up the underneath routes for DeAndre Hopkins. And if you’re looking for a player in this draft who can fit that deep threat mold, it would be Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. He torched defenses in the Big 12 averaging 19.2 yards per reception in his sophomore year and 17.6 yards per reception in his junior year. Having unofficially clocked a 4.33 40 yard dash, his speed definitely shows on the field as he regularly outruns defenders to the endzone. Watching his tape is like watching a nonstop highlight reel of Brown making defenders look silly. The biggest issue I see for him heading into the 2019 NFL draft process is the fact that he suffered a Lisfranc injury during his Junior season which required him to have surgery during the offseason. This could push his draft stock down slightly but realistically it could help him find a better landing spot. For a guy who was projected to go in the first two rounds of the draft, it wouldn’t surprise me if he still managed to get selected in the second to third round. The only question is what team needs a dynamic playmaker on the outside and would be willing to spend an early pick to bring in that sort of talent.
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 168
- Age: 21
From Six Flags roller coaster operator to NFL wide receiver, Brown’s story is a tale of perseverance and determination. From birth, he was fighting for his life with the support of his extremely strong mother. Brown’s mother Shannon James found out early in her pregnancy with Marquise that she was suffering health complications which would eventually cause her to suffer kidney failure. She was faced with the option to abort her pregnancy or confront the health concerns head-on and fight for her baby’s life. Despite the dangers, she chose to keep her child and spent much of her pregnancy on bed rest. But in the end, her perseverance paid off and Marquise was born June 4th, 1997 two weeks premature. He was small when he was born and throughout grade school was typically one of the smallest kids in his class. Early in his peewee football years, his coaches were hesitant to put him on the field in fears that he would get injured. But when they finally gave him the opportunity no one on the field could catch him. After becoming a star at Chaminade-Madonna High School, Brown failed to get a scholarship to any of the big programs due to his size and grades. He opted to go to College of the Canyons where he was able to put his athletic abilities on showcase. It was during this time that Brown worked at Six Flags to help pay his way through college and keep his dream alive. And it eventually paid off when he got an offer to transfer over to Oklahoma University where he torched the NCAA competition and is now headed to the NFL.
NFL Combine Recap
Marquise Brown will not participate in the NFL combine due to the foot surgery he underwent on January 8th.
Strengths & Weaknesses
His most obvious strength is his blazing speed which gives him the ability to outrun defenders in the secondary for easy touchdowns. But unlike some speedsters, that’s not the only weapon he has in his arsenal. Brown has tremendous vision in the open field and is easily able to outrun defenders when he gets an angle. He runs good routes and has the ability to make clean, explosive cuts to gain separation. It wouldn’t be a shock to see a team use him on kick returns because he is dynamic with the ball in his hands. Many analysts even compare him to DeSean Jackson, who in his prime was a nightmare for opposing defenses. The weaknesses for Brown come in the physicality department due to his size. Although he is able to get off the line fairly easily due to his speed, he could struggle at the next level to get past more physical cornerbacks. His aggressive nature on contested catches is admirable but he lacks the size to be an effective jump ball specialist at the next level. He shows weakness at times with contact balance which translates into him being brought down by arm tackles. Although his hands are solid he sometimes struggles to make catches through contact. But despite his struggles with overall physicality he has managed to become an adept blocker from the receiver position. Overall I’d say he is an explosive playmaker and his big-play ability far outweighs his weaknesses. But whatever team drafts him will need to be committed to scheming ways to get him the ball. With that in mind, where could he fit the best?
Best Fit: NFL Scheme
I don’t see Brown going to a team in need of a bigger X receiver, rather he seems better suited for a team that could utilize him the way Kansas City has used Tyreek Hill. Any team that has an established number one receiver or stud tight end could benefit from having Brown on the field. This would allow him to work against the defenses weaker options in the secondary while the offenses primary receiver draws the more physical corners. Similar to the way DeAndre Hopkins is able to force the attention of the defenses best cornerbacks allowing Will Fuller to attack the weaker options. So what teams fit that description?
New England Patriots
8th Ranked Passing Offense in 2018
The Patriots made a statement last year when they drafted Sony Michel in the first round. They intend to surround Tom Brady with plenty of talent and ride out what’s left of his hall of fame career. Headed into 2019 their next task will be to bring in some wide receiver talent. Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett are free agents headed into the offseason leaving the team with Julian Edelman as their only viable wide receiver. This would be the perfect landing spot for Brown, in my opinion, assuming Rob Gronkowski returns in 2019. This would allow Edelman and Gronkowski to draw the coverage in the middle of the field while Brown runs the deep routes similar to Brandin Cooks in 2017. A dynamic that the Patriots offense missed at times during the 2018 season.
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Green Bay Packers
9th Ranked Passing Offense in 2018
Outside of Davante Adams, the Packers have struggled to find any consistency at the wide receiver position. And although they drafted three wide receivers in the 2018 draft, I don’t believe they found the answer to their issue. Brown could address their immediate need for an added dependable receiver while also adding a new dynamic to the Packers offense. With his ability to spread the defense he could open up more room for the running game and even thin the coverage for Adams. And with Aaron Rodgers’ big arm its easy to imagine Brown streaking to the end zone for an easy touchdown. In 2018 Rodgers was tied with Ben Roethlisberger for most completed passes of 40 plus yards which shows that he wants to strike deep. And Brown could give him a dangerous weapon to keep opposing defenses honest.
20th Ranked Passing Offense in 2018
With Kenny Golladay’s development in 2018, the Lions seem to have found their number one receiver. But with the trade of Golden Tate, they definitely lost a huge dynamic to their offense. Although they still have Marvin Jones, he has struggled to stay healthy over the past few seasons which has limited their ability to move the ball through the air. Adding Brown would definitely give Matthew Stafford a huge weapon to strike deep against the defense. With Kerryon Johnson headed into year two, the Lions need to do something to open up some rushing lanes for the 23rd ranked rushing offense in 2018. Matt Patricia definitely needs to find a way to put a better offense on the field headed into his second year of head coaching.
Prior to his latest injury news, Brown was largely considered to be a late first or early second round rookie pick in 2019. But the fact that he will miss the combine is sure to drive down his value as rookie hype revolves heavily around combine results. I would expect his value to drop to the mid to late second round as players who participate in the combine begin to increase in value. Recency bias is brutal during the rookie draft season and can completely change a players value depending on how they perform during athletic testing and considering he won’t participate at all it could hurt him. For me, the only thing that matter for Brown is his landing spot. If he lands in a scheme that fits his skill set, he could be a steal in the mid second round. The chances of him becoming an elite top ten fantasy producer are pretty slim but he could easily be in the mid-wide receiver two range. And if you’re able to get that type of production out of a second-round rookie pick you’re doing great. Don’t let the doubts about his size scare you away from drafting this guy because he’s been able to overcome his size at every level. And I have no doubt that he will bring his determination to succeed with him to the NFL and work hard for whatever team gives him a chance.
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