Photo Courtesy: USA Today

John Brown Already Proving to Be Worth Every Penny … And More

September 19, 2018 - 1:32 pm

By Joe Schiller

After a limited passing attack last season, Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome made a concerted to improve the receiving core. That meant letting go of Jeremy Maclin, Michael Campanaro, Mike Wallace, and Ben Watson, and bringing in a new core of free agent signings.

One of those signings was John Brown – who inked a one-year, $5 million deal – the cheapest of new teammates Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead. The former Arizona Cardinal posted a breakout 1,000-yard campaign in 2015 but struggled to stay on the field the following two seasons due to injuries.

The Ravens took a risk on the high flyer receiver, knowing there was uncertainty, but Brown has already proven his worth and more through the early portions of the season.

Brown currently leads the Ravens with 136 receiving yards on seven receptions. He’s caught two touchdowns, one in each game. The most impressive stat is his 19.4 average yards per reception, a number that was virtually unknown to the Ravens last season

Willie Snead and Michael Crabtree have been very involved in the passing offense as well but Browns’ rapport with Flacco was noted during the offseason and has clearly carried over to the regular season.

For a 5’11” receiver, Brown has shown far more than being a vertical deep threat. His route running and ability to find open space among opposing secondaries have been impressive. The 21-yard touchdown catch over Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was that good.

It’s early and there’s plenty of season left to play but Brown and this receiving core already seem to be miles ahead of last year’s group. Once the Ravens can find a stricter balance with Alex Collins and the run game, opportunities will only continue to come through the air.

That’s good news for Brown, who through two games, has proven to be the Ravens No. 1 receiver.