Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is bigger than he was a year ago. But he wants everyone to know he’s also faster than he was a year ago, too.
When the Ravens drafted the Oklahoma wideout a year ago, he weighed about 166 pounds. He was also battling a Lisfranc injury in his foot. The injury hampered him all season long, as the 5-foot-9 rookie played in 14 games. He tallied 46 receptions off 71 targets with 584 yards and seven touchdowns.
Brown’s foot is now healthy, his weight is up to about 180 pounds, and he’s even faster than he was last season.
“Of course, with anything, when you get surgery, it’s just not something that heals over a year or so,” Brown said Thursday. “So, every day just push to get better with football, with your body, with injuries, with everything. I’m feeling 100 times better than what around this time I was feeling last year. But I just have to keep pressing it and keep getting better.”
The Ravens’ wide receiver depth chart is not only crowded, it’s young, too. With Brown, Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche almost assuredly roster locks, four of the team’s wide receivers will be in their first or second season in the league. Brown is the team's top target at the wideout position.
Last year, quarterback Lamar Jackson set the league on fire with dazzling scrambles and pretty downfield passes — sometimes to Brown. His favorite target was tight end Mark Andrews, who led the team in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Now, Brown has another year in the league, another year in the offense and more importantly, a clean bill of health.
“I feel like I’m just more comfortable in the offense, and really, with everything — with route running, blocking and knowing how I can gain more [of a] role in this offense,” Brown said. “And that’s blocking and getting in there and doing whatever I can to help the team.”
His practice reps in training camp haven’t hurt either, as he’s faced some of the league’s top cornerbacks every day in practice.
Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, two All-Pros, are the Ravens’ top two corners. They’re backed up by Jimmy Smith and Tavon Young, two of the best depth corners in the league.
In terms of competition and body composition, there’s not a better offseason Brown could’ve had.
“They definitely help me out a lot,” Brown said. “Even the plays where they guard me or they cover me, they’re telling me, ‘Right here, you could’ve done that. That could’ve helped you.’ So, just having those guys, and being able to talk to (them) outside of football — their brains just help me out a lot. When I get into games with high-level corners, I kind of know how they think and how they play.”