This is the sixth in an ongoing series on 2019 NFL Draft prospects by Chris Reed. He will evaluate projected first-round picks and their fit for the Raiders. Today, we look at Oklahoma wideout Marquise Brown.
Name: Marquise Brown
Position: Wide Reciever
Speed, speed, speed, exceptional change of direction ability, better at beating press coverages than size would indicate, fairly expansive route tree, a very willing blocker despite stature, great run after the catch ability, perfect target in an offense’s “quick game,” exceptional stop and start capability.
Struggled with contested catches, size will limit his 50/50 production, shorter reach limits his ability to keep blocks engaged, will most likely be viewed predominantly as a slot receiver, was a non-factor as a ball carrier, very limited yards after contact.
Why He Would Fit the Raiders
The Raiders offense is in desperate need of a deep receiving threat that actually scares a defense. They traded for now suspended wideout Martavis Bryant hoping to inject some big-play ability into their roster but that move didn’t pan out. Brown would be an instant upgrade in this regard and give the team a weapon defensive coordinators would have to account for.
Brown proved himself to be a deep threat on his way to compiling 2,413 yards and averaging 18.3 yards per reception in his two seasons at Oklahoma. He scored 17 touchdowns on 132 total receptions with 10 of those scores coming last season. His speed would get defenders attention and certainly force some safety help over the top.
Brown is also a perfect fit for the screen and quick games Jon Gruden utilized last season. His ability to pick up yards after the catch would add some explosion to an offense that ranked 24th in passing touchdowns. That presence alone would open up coverage for the other receivers on the field as well. His impact on the game will not be limited to the stat sheet.
He may be useful as a punt or kick returner as well. Surprisingly, he wasn’t asked to do either during his time at Oklahoma. Brown’s stature and speed would be rather reminiscent of former wide receiver Jacoby Ford who, coincidentally, scored the Raiders last kickoff return for a touchdown back in 2011.
Why He Would Not Fit the Raiders
Brown may be considered a slot receiver. If Gruden or Mike Mayock look to bring in a wideout early in the draft, they may focus on a bigger body guy who can play outside of the numbers. His size also makes it difficult for him to win physically contested 50/50 balls.
His biggest question mark is his ability to make tough catches in traffic. He had a difficult time coming down with the ball when his catch was contested. Quarterback Derek Carr has seen more than his share of dropped passes and that may drop his value in the eyes of the Raiders front office. Interestingly, despite his athleticism, Brown was never a factor running the ball. He had zero yards on three carries over the course of his career. That may be due to his size limiting his ability to pick up yardage after contact.
Brown’s combine measurements and testing will influence his draft stock. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross secured himself the ninth overall spot in the 2017 draft after recording a 4.22 time in the 40-yard dash. While Ross is slightly larger than Brown, a similar time could cause a team to take him as early. It is unlikely that the Raiders would draft a prospect fourth overall that had questions surrounding both their size and hands. He may be yet another player who’s draft value falls in the window between their first and second selections.