INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL Scouting Combine is all about competition. Who can run the fastest, lift the most and look the smoothest doing drills?
In that regard, it’s killing Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown to sit out of workouts this week as he recovers from Lisfranc surgery on his foot. Brown was in a walking boot talking to the media Friday, and says he’ll be in the boot for another three or four weeks.
Brown, who is the cousin of NFL All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, caught 132 passes for 2,413 yards and 17 touchdowns the past two years for the Sooners. He caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards (17.6 average) and 10 touchdowns this past season.
Brown is an interesting prospect in that his smaller stature (5-9, 166) has some draft analysts wondering if he’s strong enough to hold up in the NFL. Can he beat press coverage? Then there’s the foot injury to further complicate the evaluation.
But the one thing teams can’t deny is his game-changing speed and playmaking ability with the ball, something the Lions could be looking to add to their receiving corps this offseason.
Oklahoma played Brown on the outside, where his long speed allowed him to consistently get behind cornerbacks. His ability to make players miss and be dynamic after the catch was a reason the Sooners played him in the slot as well.
“I’ll let the film speak for itself,” Brown said Friday of his game as it translates to the NFL. “I played outside, I played inside, whatever you need. I can play outside and catch a comeback and take it to the house. I can play inside and catch an out (route) and take it to the house. So, I feel like I can play both pretty well.”
That’s certainly a trend we’re seeing more and more in the NFL as teams try to move their playmakers around to find favorable matchups.
Considered a fringe first-round prospect before the foot injury, it will be interesting to see where Brown ends up being selected come draft weekend in late April.
His game has drawn a lot of comparisons to that of NFL veteran DeSean Jackson, who also had to answer some of the same questions about his size and frame coming out of California in 2008. He was ultimately a second-round pick by the Eagles, and has played 11 years in the NFL with over 10,000 receiving yards and more than 50 touchdowns.
When healthy, Brown said he’ll play around 170-175 pounds. Jackson plays at 175 pounds and has been successful at that weight for years.
As a likely Day 2 prospect, Brown’s pre-draft evaluation will be an interesting one for teams looking for a dynamic playmaker, but one coming off a serious foot injury and no testing numbers to go by.
View photos of the prospects that met the media on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Combine.