Oklahoma junior WR Marquise Brown underwent LisFranc surgery last month and won't participate in next week's combine or the Sooners' pro day in March, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday.
Brown, a potential first-round NFL draft prospect whose 1,318 receiving yards in 2018 were the fourth-most in Sooners history, is expected to be ready for training camp, according to the report. But for one of the country's most explosive pass catchers, it could give teams eyeing potential first-round wideouts pause. The diminutive Brown, who PFW estimates at 5-foot-10 and 168 pounds with 4.35 wheels, was injured in the second half of Big 12 Championship game, exiting early with 5-54 receiving. Though he battled through the injury in the national-championship loss to Alabama, he was held without a catch for the only time in his two-year Sooners career.
The last undersized speed receiver like Brown drafted in Round 1, Washington product John Ross in 2017, has struggled to stay healthy after the Cincinnati Bengals surprised many by plucking him ninth overall. Of course, Ross' ascent was fueled by his record 40-yard dash at the combine. Because Brown won't have the opportunity to show clubs just how fast the receiver who tied for the FBS lead in 40-plus yard catches (11) last season is, any rapid rise in his stock is off the table.
What about a draft tumble? LisFranc injuries are considered painful and can be a bit complicated based on the details of the break. We don't know the specifics of Brown's injury, but the lack of a verified 40 time paired with his small stature certainly could boost the volatility of his draft status.
Brown received a 6.7 grade and Round 1-2 projection from PFW draft expert Greg Gabriel in the 2019 NFL Draft guide, which will be on newsstands soon and is currently available for purchase here.
"If Brown lands with the right team, he'll be a big-time NFL playmaker," his report partially reads. "Brown is a little guy, but he's tough and fearless."
Brown appeared in 27-of-28 games at Oklahoma, where he transferred from College of the Canyons, a community college in Santa Clarita, California, in 2017. The undersized speed receiver was an All-Big 12 honoree, All-American and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.