Although many NFL Draft analysts and NFL fans were excited to see one of the top athletes in the 2019 draft class work out next week in Indianapolis, it was not meant to be. Wide recever Marquise Brown, also known as “Hollywood,” was expected to light up the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium with his speed and agility.
Instead, he next time he runs on an NFL field will most likely be on the opening day of his first training camp.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown recently had surgery to repair a lisfranc fracture in one of his feet. As a result, he will skip his scheduled workouts at the Scouting Combine next week and at Oklahoma’s Pro Day on March 14th, and he may well miss his new team’s spring practices after the NFL Draft.
Some saw Brown as a contender to put up the fastest time in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. According to NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread, Brown has been timed as low as 4.33 seconds in that drill. That is just one-one hundredth of a second slower than cornerback Denzel Ward, who had the fastest time at the 2018 Combine.
This writer sees Brown’s best NFL comparison being veteran NFL receiver DeSean Jackson, and his speed is a big part of that. Both players are smaller receivers, measuring in around 5-foot-10 and just shy of 170 pounds, and Brown’s supposed 4.33 would put him just a few ticks faster than Jackson, who recorded a 4.35-second time in his combine in 2008. In addition, both players fit on the outside rather than playing a slot-only role that is sometimes reserved for those smaller players.
In that role as a boundary deep threat, Brown could be a perfect fit for the Packers. Green Bay has an elite all-around receiver in Davante Adams and several bigger targets who could man the slot (including Equanimeous St. Brown). Adding Brown to Adams, St. Brown, and friends could bring a new and exciting dynamic to Aaron Rodgers’ receiver group. ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected the Packers to select Brown with the 12th pick in his most recent mock draft, though others see him as being a better and more reasonable value around the 30th overall selection.
However, one thing is now certain: teams won’t have the benefit of timing and testing Brown on his athletic ability prior to the draft. It remains to be seen whether that will affect his draft stock, but Brown has put up two years of excellent tape for teams to review when making the decision whether or not to select him in April.