Near the end of April, the Ravens looked themselves in the mirror and decided to get their offense together. In the draft, the Ravens pulled the trigger on a pair of wide receivers, Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin, in the first and third rounds respectively. The receivers share a variety of characteristics including the same initials and limitless upside.
Brown, one of college football’s premier receivers as an Oklahoma Sooner in 2018, is a classic example of athleticism and raw footballing talent. Brown possesses electric explosiveness and should replace John Brown as the deep threat of the Ravens offense. While Brown lacks the prototypical size of a No.1 option, Brown’s upside and talent could blaze a new path for success.
In contrast, Boykin possesses the size and speed to be a prototypical No.1 option for Lamar Jackson. The 6-foot-4 former Fighting Irish lit up the NFL Combine, and he would have received more headlines, but a certain D.K. Metcalf showed up. Regardless of his performance in athletic gear in Indianapolis, Boykin should be an immediate target threat for the Ravens.
With a brand-new offense being implemented by offensive coordinator Greg Roman, it is imperative that the rookies coalesce with Jackson and form a tight bond heading into the season. With on-field reps will have to wait due to nagging injuries for both Brown and Boykin, open communication off and on the field is critical for all three players to reach their maximum potential.
Brown and Boykin could prove to be a highly effective outside pair with Willie Snead doing work in the slot. While Jackson may look to Snead and the tight ends early in the season, a transition to targeting receivers is certainly a notable milestone in the development of Jackson.
Brown and Boykin possess many of the same football intangibles, and each should see ample playing time in Year 1. Boykin may receive more snaps in goal line and rushing situations due to his size, and Brown may receive a greater share of passing downs, but as a whole, they should be two quality options in their rookie seasons. Each has the potential to be upper tier wide receivers, and Brown, in particular, is oozing star potential.
Looking into the future, Boykin feels as if he is a lock to be an effective wide receiver at the NFL level. He possesses strong hands (as long as they are not broken) and superb athleticism. He should be a top-three option in the Ravens passing attack for the next decade. He may not be a star, but he should be consistent.
Brown is by no means a sure thing, but he has the highest potential of any receiver in the draft. His explosiveness and athleticism resemble that of a star in the making. While naysayers may point out the comparison to John Ross, Brown has a more developed route tree and appears to be a multi-faceted threat compared to Ross.
As a whole, the Ravens must channel their inner Albert Einstein and discover how MB-squared equals winning.