What Type of Impact Will Marquise Brown Have on Chiefs?

New Chiefs WR Marquise Brown

On Tuesday, March 14, news broke that the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to terms with wide receiver Marquise Brown on a one-year, $11 million contract with $7 million fully guaranteed.

Scheme Fit

The obvious conclusion from the signing is that Brown represents a clear upgrade over the recently released Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He had a drop rate of only 3.6 percent last season compared to Valdez-Scantling’s league-worst 13.2 percent drop rate. 

Brown also signed for $4 million less than Valdes-Scantling was due in 2024, and Brown was in the top 30 for all wide receivers in total receiving yards over the past three seasons.


Brown will upgrade the Chiefs’ wide receiver room. Still, he is not a one-for-one on-field replacement for Valdes-Scantling as they are different archetypes of receivers. Valdes-Scantling primarily lined up for the Chiefs as an outside X receiver and was on the field in a majority of the Chiefs’ personnel groupings because he was a willing run blocker.

Brown has primarily lined up at the Z position (which is on the opposite side of X in an offense) or in the slot because he is undersized at just 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds. His small stature prevents him from being able to consistently beat press coverage from outside corners and come downhill from the X position to block bigger linebackers or safeties, which is required from X receivers in the modern NFL of heavy zone run schemes.


Although Brown is not an ideal positional replacement for the Chiefs’ offense, he will provide great value in their passing offense. Still, it will not be in the way most fans predict because Brown has performed as a completely different receiver in the NFL than expected when he was drafted in 2019.

Marquise Brown Impact

Ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, Brown was viewed as a legitimate deep threat with home run speed to thrive in the deep passing game. Brown was also viewed as a receiver with a limited route tree in college as he primarily succeeded in the quick passing game or on vertical routes because of what he ran in the Oklahoma Sooners’ air-raid offense under Lincoln Riley.

Last season, however, Brown mainly had success in the intermediate passing game over the middle of the field as he had a success rate of 81.5 percent on post routes, 79.5 percent on dig routes, and 78 percent on curl routes. All of the routes that Brown succeeded at running last season show that he has developed a diverse route tree over just a few years. In college, Brown was not running many post, dig, or curl routes; he primarily ran only slants and vertical fade routes.

Brown takes the top off of the defense and primarily succeeds on quick hitters or deep shots. He has turned into a much more reliable and consistent receiver who thrives at exploiting the weakness of most NFL defenses (which is over the middle of the field) because of his willingness to diversify his route tree combined with his speed and agility.



Marquise Brown possesses an ability to succeed over the middle of the field, which will make him a stable and consistent force in the Chiefs’ wide receiver room. Plus, his impressive 3.6 percent will provide a massive boost for the Chiefs’ passing attack after they led the league in drops last season. He represents a necessary upgrade as the Chiefs look to defend their Super Bowl title.

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