Reads Listens Views 8/23/2013

A.J. Green was the best receiver I ever saw at Georgia, but Marlon Brown is no slouch despite operating in Green's shadow. Photo by Wade Rackley
A.J. Green was the best receiver I ever saw at Georgia, but Marlon Brown is no slouch despite operating in Green’s shadow. Photo by Wade Rackley

Dynasty Alert: Baltimore WR Marlon Brown

If you were on Twitter last night, I lucked into a bit of a Nostradamus act. I saw former Georgia wide receiver Marlon Brown take the field and make his first reception and I promptly told my followers he was a player to monitor. I shared my thoughts about his high talent level and about 30-40 minutes later Brown made an excellent catch between two defensive backs on an intermediate cross for a touchdown. I was just glad to see that Brown was actually healthy enough to play this year after tearing his ACL late in the 2012 season.

If you don’t know who Brown is, I’m sharing my summary from the 2013 RSP.  Brown was my No.26 receiver, largely due to the timing of his injury and my concerns about him earning an opportunity at all this year. In fact, the Houston Texans were the first to sign Brown after the draft as a free agent then promptly dropped Brown from its roster with haste.

However, the Ravens were just as quick to sign Brown. I have looked for word about Brown from time to time this summer, but couldn’t find anything on him until I watched him tonight. If you’re in a deep dynasty league and you’re seeking players to stash on that practice squad, I recommend a flyer on the former Bulldog.

Here’s a summary from April:

Marlon Brown, (6-4, 213)

Brown’s quickness and cutting ability combined with his size makes him a physically dangerous player. The fact that he can play from the slot or get deep on the perimeter makes him a nice talent to watch after he recovers from a November ACL tear.

Brown does a good job working from the slot to find openings in the zone coverage. He does a good job working back to his QB and attacks the ball hard on his way back to the passer. He also demonstrates skill to make plays in the middle of the field on the move or with his back to the passer.

He also shows some skill to catch the ball at the first available window with his hands away from his body. He adjusts his breaks to maximize that space and he does a strong job after the catch of making cuts and keeping his pads low to avoid contact.

I like his strength and quickness – he can use a stiff arm effectively, bounces off hits, and he fights to get extra yards after he’s wrapped. Brown also showed smarts in the two-minute drill when it comes to saving his offense time with his on field awareness.

Brown needs to do a better job of delivering a punch as a blocker. He could get more aggressive on a consistent basis in the run game. There are times he seems to be tentative about his angles to the opponent. I also didn’t see him attempt a cut block.

As a receiver, he has the typical issue of most athletic players: he drops passes when he looks down field and tries to run before securing the ball. I didn’t get to see Brown execute hard breaks, face press coverage, or use his hands to get free against an opponent. However Brown is a good athlete and based on what I’ve seen him do I think he has the potential to become a good player in each of these facets of receiving.

A former five-star recruit, Brown’s spent half of his career in the shadow of A.J. Green, but is loved by his team and the coaching staff believes he has the ability to have an NFL career. Highlights below:

Thank You

Brown, Kenbrell Thompkins, Spencer Ware, Joique Bell, and even C.J. Anderson are examples of players I love to write about because evaluating college talent is a passion of mine and that love of studying prospects ranges from the known quantities to the guys off the radar – especially the lesser-known players. There are cynical people out there who believe evaluators like me tout unknown guys because it makes us look good without the impact of looking as bad when they fail.

I tout players I believe are good and have potential to be even better with a chance to develop in the NFL. It’s hard to list a player higher than established prospects when you know best-case he’ll be drafted late or not drafted at all. I don’t continue to talk about Cedric Peerman – even has an inside joke with my readers – because I think I’m going to look like a rookie-evaluating genius if he hits after years on the roster bubble in Cincinnati.

I have strong beliefs about players that don’t change much until I see enough evidence that counteracts the months of methodical attention to detail I spend documenting what I see. Sometimes it’s good (Russell Wilson), other times I fall flat on my face (John Beck), but all the time I’m learning and sharing what I learn, hopefully for your benefit.

So thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue this football journey. When you follow this blog and buy the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, you’re supporting my football education that comes back to you two-fold.

If you’re new to the blog, Friday is when I post links to content from around the web. I also thank you for visiting and encourage you to do yourself a favor and buy the 2013 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. This is a pre-draft and post-draft publication devoted to the rookies at the skill positions. Here’s information to learn more:

If you just need the basic facts, here they are: It’s the most comprehensive work you’ll find of its kind. You get over 1300 pages of material that’s well-organized and in-depth for $19.95 (past issues from 2006-2012 are $9.95). And 10 percent of each sale is donated to the organization Darkness to Light to help them fight sexual abuse.  You can download the RSP here.


Football Reads

Non-Football Reads

  • Sonny Rollins, the Colossus – If I have to make a sports analogy, imagine an athlete with Bo Jackson’s physical skills, Michael Jordan’s drive, Brett Favre’s improvisational prowess at its most inspired, and Peyton Manning’s obsessive preparation and you only begin to grasp what this Kennedy Honor’s Recipient is all about. Seeing him in person in 2009 was a highlight of a lifetime. This performance below is the microscopic residue of a crumb of Rollins’ on stage with the horn in his hand, but it will have to do:

Views II – Even If This is Part of The Corporate Machine, Bill Murray Would Be Proud

The last three minutes are worth the first four, I promise – and I work at their rival school. Imagine Stripes Meets Revenge of The Nerds.

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