The Arizona Cardinals’ new wideout, Marquise Brown, is primed to have explosive performances this fall.
The Arizona Cardinals acquired Marquise “Hollywood” Brown from the Ravens in exchange for the overall pick, #23 in this past draft, reuniting Brown with his former college quarterback, Kyler Murray.
Though trading a first-round pick for Hollywood is questionable, there is no doubt he will add another dynamic element to an already potent Cardinal’s offense. In addition, Arizona picked up Brown’s fifth-year option that will have him on the roster for the next two seasons.
Brown statistically has improved every season. He put up 46 catches, 584 yards, and seven touchdowns in his rookie year. Brown followed that up in his sophomore year with 58-769-8; last year, he improved to 91-1,008-6.
This improvement came in a run-first offense in Baltimore that was catered to Lamar Jackson, in which Brown then requested a trade from Baltimore to fully show his electric capabilities.
Initially, Brown was brought in as a replacement for Christian Kirk, who signed a four-year deal worth up to $84 million with $37 million guaranteed, a contract the Cardinals would have been wild to offer Kirk.
During his time in Arizona, Kirk never topped 1,000 yards, Brown will not only top 1,000 yards, but he will also put up career numbers.
Kyler Murray and Hollywood Brown already have chemistry, and could be the NFL’s next top QB-WR duo.
Murray and Brown played together at Oklahoma for two seasons, but it was their junior season of 2018 where they went nuclear as Murray won the Heisman, but Brown was voted First-team All-American, as well as First-team All-Big 12.
In 12 games together that season, Murray and Brown connected 75 times for 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns. With Deandre Hopkins suspended for the first six games, Brown will be the Cardinals’ No.1 wideout in that time.
During Hopkins’s suspension, the Cardinals will play three of last year’s bottom 12 pass defenses, week one against the Chiefs, week three against the Rams, and week six against the Seahawks. Although ranked in the top 12, the Raiders’ pass defense is also susceptible to the pass. This could lead to an excellent start for Brown.
Brown requested a trade for a reason from Baltimore, as Brown ranked 12th in targets with a career-high 146 targets.
However, Cardinals fans should expect that number to rise. The Cardinals’ depth behind Brown is shaky at best, and that absolutely won’t cut it, so the Cardinals and Murray will have to rely heavily on Brown as the only real difference maker on the outside.
Even once Hopkins returns, the offense is built perfectly for Brown’s strengths, which brings me to my next point: Arizona’s offense is very similar to the offense Murray and Brown ran at Oklahoma.
There is no better place Brown could’ve gone for his skillset other than the one that the Arizona Cardinals use.
The Cardinals run an up-tempo spread offense and like to utilize the deep ball. In Baltimore, Brown’s highest yards per reception was 13.3, but in his 2018 season with Murray running the spread at OU, Hollywood was able to average 17.6 yards per reception.
Now, while I don’t expect him to average that, I think he can reach about 15 yards per reception and eclipse the 1200-yard mark due to the Cardinals’ lack of a run game; even when Hopkins returns Brown should get a decent number of targets.
I’m excited to see what Brown can do in this offense, and Brown may be able to command a very nice payday if he and Murray can recreate the magic made at Oklahoma.