Ravens fans were clamoring for a playmaking wide receiver, and they got their wish when the team selected Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown in the first round with the 25th overall pick after trading back from No. 22 with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Below are 10 takeaways and tidbits from the night:
1) ‘90 Percent Chance’ Marquise Brown Lands With Eagles
Diehard NFL fans can’t get enough of mock drafts and speculation about which players teams are interested in, but we know it’s all to be taken with skepticism.
Case in point: The prevailing opinion heading into the Draft was that the Philadelphia Eagles, the Ravens’ trade partner on Thursday night, coveted Marquise Brown with the 25th pick. (The Eagles ended up selecting Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard.)
The Draft Network and Bleeding Green Network’s Benjamin Solak went as far to say yesterday that there was a 90-percent chance the Eagles would select Brown if he was there at No. 25. He also noted the Eagles wanted Brown badly enough that they were willing to trade up to get him because they were worried the Ravens would take him at No. 22.
247 Sports’ Jeff Kerr also bought into Brown being the Eagles’ preference.
“The Eagles have continued to show interest in Brown throughout the draft process and he appears to be their top target at No. 25 [assuming they stay at that position,]” Kerr wrote. The Eagles could also trade up to add Brown, especially since the Seattle Seahawks are reportedly willing to trade down from No. 21.”
NJ.com’s Mike Kaye ranked Brown No. 1 on his list of players most likely to be drafted by the Eagles in the first round.
“If the Eagles stay put at the No. 25 pick, Brown is probably going to be the choice if available,” Kaye wrote. “There’s just way too much heat surrounding Brown and the Eagles. Frankly, selecting Brown makes a lot of sense, as he is the perfect gadget/speed asset for the Eagles’ offense.”
Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta admitted after securing Brown that he was somewhat worried the Eagles would beat him to it.
“To be honest, I was a little bit nervous that Philly might take [Brown],” DeCosta said. “But it’s a calculated risk. We had some other players there that we liked. We like to make trades. It made sense to gamble, to roll the dice a little bit, so we did.”
It was the second straight year the Ravens traded in the first round with the Eagles. Last year the Ravens moved back into the first round and selected Lamar Jackson at No. 32.
2) The Ravens Acquire Two Additional Picks
It was no secret the Ravens wanted more picks, and the trade with the Eagles netted them fourth- (127) and sixth-round (197) picks.
DeCosta said the Ravens were open to trading back again in the first round -- they traded back twice in the first round last year -- but that the phone didn’t ring, so they went ahead and got their guy.
“You do get to a point where you start to get nervous,” DeCosta said. “You don’t want to be too greedy. We had a chance to make a trade, go back and get the guy that we wanted. From that standpoint, it was great.”
Kudos to the pundits who predicted the Ravens would trade back, including NFL.com Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who never wavered in that belief. Unfortunately for NBC Sports’ Peter King, that means he won’t be getting a free dinner.
Including the picks they acquired from the Eagles, the Ravens now have the following selections: Round 3 (85, 102), Round 4 (113, 123, 127), Round 5 (160), Round 6 (191, 193, 197).
3) Marquise Brown Gets Emotional When Getting Call From Ravens
Brown cried before walking to the podium in Nashville to be greeted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
It was understandable why Brown was overcome with emotion. His journey to that podium began when he left Chaminade-Madonna High School in Florida without a single college offer. He began his college football career at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. After one season there, Brown received several Division I scholarship offers.
“I mean, three years ago, I had no food, I had no offers, I had nothing,” Brown said. “I was out there working at Six Flags working my tail off just to pay for my rent and for school. So, that moment just was surreal. People were always telling me what I can’t do, so for me to get drafted in the first round, it just means a lot to me.”
4) Lamar Jackson Is Excited Around Ravens’ No. 1 Pick
The Ravens quarterback went live on Instagram as Goodell made the announcement the Ravens had selected Brown. To say he was pleased with the pick would be an understatement.
A number of other Ravens also took to social media to welcome their new teammate.
5) Marquise Brown’s Bling Game is Strong
Brown turned heads at the draft when he showed up with a diamond chain around his neck that featured his likeness.
“Marquise Brown wasn't the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft like his former Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray, but the wide receiver still won the night thanks to his diamond neck accessory,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Khadrice Rollins, who referred to the display as “one of the most ballerific moves since Joe Namath put on a fur coat.”
As Jackson displayed in his Instagram video, he has a similar diamond necklace of his own likeness.
6) Misconception About ‘Hollywood’ Moniker
Despite the gaudy diamond chain Brown wore last night, don’t get the wrong idea about his nickname of “Hollywood.” As Philly.com’s Les Bowen wrote, “It’s a reference to Brown’s hometown, Hollywood, Fla., which is not exactly Tinseltown.”
“I see a lot of guys on TV talking about my nickname, saying this and that, saying I need to be humble,” Brown said. “I’m the most humble guy ever. They don’t know me, but they have jobs to do, so I understand that.”
Brown was given the nickname by FOX college football announcer Gus Johnson in 2017 and it stuck.
7) Antonio Brown Keeps Cousin Marquise Brown Level-Headed
Marquise Brown’s cousin -- former Pittsburgh Steelers and current Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown -- is certainly no stranger to Ravens fans. It will likely come as a surprise to them that the Ravens’ No. 1 draft pick said his cousin -- who has often been described as “mercurial” -- has helped him stay grounded.
“He just taught me how to be a pro and how to work,” Marquise Brown said. “Keeping me level-headed and telling me what it’s going to take.”
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley noted the Brown cousins speak frequently.
“[He] just leads by example when we work out together, watch film” Marquise Brown said, according to Hensley. “He shows me how to treat my body every day -- everyday things. His aggressiveness. Any time he gets the ball he wants to score as well. In that sense, we’ve got the same type of thinking and mentality -- we want the ball, get the ball and score.”
8) Marquise Brown’s Heisman Connection
Brown may not have won a Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma, but he did catch passes from two of them: Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman winner who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Browns last year, and Kyler Murray, the 2018 Heisman winner who was drafted No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals last night.
Now, Brown will be catching passes in the NFL from Jackson, the 2016 Heisman winner at Louisville, and possibly Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman winner. The Ravens also have another Heisman winner on their offense in running back Mark Ingram, who won the award in 2009.
9) AFC North Draft Roundup
The Steelers made a splash by trading with the Denver Broncos to move up from No. 20 to No. 10, where they selected Michigan linebacker Devin Bush. The Cincinnati Bengals went with Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams at No. 11.
The Cleveland Browns did not have a first-round pick after their trade earlier this offseason for Odell Beckham Jr. They own a second-round pick (49th overall).
10) What’s Next for Ravens?
The Ravens need to address the interior offensive line and pass rush on Day Two of the draft, which begins tonight at 7. The majority of mock drafts that didn’t have the Ravens taking a wide receiver in the first round had them taking an interior offensive lineman or edge rusher.
Penn Live’s Aaron Kasinitz listed seven potential Ravens’ targets for Day Two.
On a side note, players linked to the Ravens in mock drafts who were available after they selected Brown include: Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat, who was drafted at No. 26 by the Washington Redskins, and Texas A&M center Erik McCoy, who was not drafted in the first round.