Carroll County Times

Undrafted rookie WR Brown continues to impress

Technically, rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown is still vying just to make the Ravens' roster - and him making the roster isn't a guarantee despite how he played against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night - but Brown is looking more and more like a player that could make an impact in Baltimore's passing game this season.
He's big (6-foot-5, 205 pounds). He's athletic. He's an impressive route-runner for a player his size, something wide receivers coach Jim Hostler talked about earlier this summer. And maybe what sticks out most about Brown is that he continues to make plays, whether in practice or in games.
Brown, who signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent, is just nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but he has shown glimpses of his potential since the first full-team practice he took part in earlier this summer.
He's had some drops, and he's still bothered by the knee at times, but his performance against the Panthers Thursday further makes him look like a player that will be in Baltimore's plans for this season.
"We really liked him from the beginning," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "When we first saw [his college tape], I saw him, he jumped off the tape. But he had the ACL [injury]. He's come back from that thing very quickly, and he's playing well."
The crazy part about what Brown has done this summer is, first of all, he's just nine months from knee injury, and he figures to only get better as his knee continues to build back to full strength. But secondly, it's not like Brown was a superstar in college prior to suffering the injury.
He was a former top recruit who went to Georgia as one of the top receiver prospects in his recruiting class, but he didn't come anywhere close to living up to expectations during his first three years at Georgia.
He had 15 catches or less each of those three seasons.
He started to break out some as a senior last year before suffering the injury in November, but it's not like his numbers were anything overly noteworthy.
He was averaging more than 17 yards per catch, but his totals of 27 catches for 469 yards and four touchdowns in the eight games he played in, while respectable, don't exactly jump out.
Yet, even with his knee not yet back to 100 percent, Brown continues to stand out this summer with the Ravens.
Baltimore has given both Brown and fellow rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette significant reps with the first-team offense during the last week, something Harbaugh said would help the team in its evaluation of both players.
And working with the first-team offense Thursday against the Panthers' first-team defense, Brown caught each of the four passes that Flacco threw to him, including one for a 24-yard touchdown.
He finished with 59 yards and the touchdown.
"Last week was the first week I went with the ones," Brown said. "I feel like the more practice and the more reps I get with them, the better it will be for me."