While at the University of Oklahoma, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown became a big star, and the football world noticed his game-changing abilities.
The Baltimore Ravens made him the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and although he showed promise in two seasons with them, he wasn’t happy.
After a Week 8 loss in 2020 in which he only managed one reception, he posted a later-deleted tweet in which he said: “What’s the point of having souljas when you never use them (Never!!)”
Now, Brown will be a member of the Arizona Cardinals, which just happen to be led by his old quarterback at Oklahoma, Kyler Murray.
They will be without their main weapon, DeAndre Hopkins, for six games this coming season due to a violation of the league’s banned substance rules.
As a result, Brown will get his opportunity to be the WR1 for a pro team.
Brown Has Shown Potential
Some have criticized Ravens QB Lamar Jackson for lacking high-level passing ability, especially when pressured.
Still, Brown put up respectable numbers in his three seasons with him, posting 584 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games (11 as a starter) as a rookie and 769 yards and eight touchdowns the following year.
This past season, his numbers went up to 1,008 yards while starting 16 contests for Baltimore.
Brown has also done well in the postseason, contributing 322 yards in three playoff games while averaging 17.9 yards per reception.
Only 3 WR since the #NFL merger have 85+ yards in each of their first 3 playoff games.
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) April 29, 2022
He will now play with a signal-caller who has proven he can fling the ball accurately downfield, and his college experience playing that signal-caller will only help the Cardinals in 2022.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Ravens coach John Harbaugh uses a different offensive system than what Kliff Kingsbury utilizes in Arizona.
Kingsbury’s offense is more pass-oriented, and therefore Brown could see a generous bump in his numbers.
That bump in his numbers could be especially pronounced given Hopkins’ suspension, which will cause Brown to be Arizona’s most featured skill player during that suspension.
It May Not Be Easy
The Cardinals have lost plenty of firepower with Hopkins shelved for six contests, but also with fellow wideout Christian Kirk leaving to join the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He gave Arizona 982 yards and five touchdowns this past season.
The question is what will happen when opposing DBs load up on Brown and force other wideouts to make catches and plays for Arizona.
Will A.J. Green, who has made seven straight Pro Bowls in the past, return to form a couple of years after a severe ankle injury that knocked him out for the entire 2020 season?
Another concern is the size of the Cardinals’ skill players.
everything the cardinals have done is to make kyler murray look tall relative to the rest of his offense when he comes out of the tunnel week 1:
QB: kyler murray (5'10)
RB: chase edmonds (5'9)
WR1: marquise brown (5'9)
WR2: rondale moore (5'8)
— Tej Seth (@tejfbanalytics) May 2, 2022
This could present a problem, as many opposing cornerbacks and safeties are at least 6-feet tall.
Murray struggled without Hopkins this past season, going 1-4 without him, which included Arizona’s lopsided loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.
Brown will have an immense opportunity to prove that he is every bit as good as he thinks he is by helping the Cardinals play well while Hopkins is unable to suit up.