Compare Jeremy Maclin to Antonio Brown? One Ravens coordinator did

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees dropped a big name when asked how he used to prepare for recently signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

"Well, he was always a guy you wanted to double," Pees said. "He was a little bit like ‘84’ from Pittsburgh and certain guys you always get. When they are slot players -- especially guys that will play in the slot -- you are always looking to double him."

No. 84 from Pittsburgh is Antonio Brown, who is considered by many as the best receiver in the NFL right now. Brown is a five-time Pro Bowl player who has led the league in catches for two of the past three seasons.

It's difficult to compare Maclin or most receivers to Brown. It would be overly optimistic to expect Maclin to put up numbers anywhere close to Brown.

But, in Maclin's past two full seasons (2014 and 2015), there were three receivers in the NFL to produce over 170 receptions, 800 yards and 17 touchdowns: Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. and ... Maclin.

There is also some validity in terms of scheme. Maclin and Brown do some of their best work lining up inside because they understand route concepts and they're not afraid to go over the middle. Even though Maclin doesn't rank in the top 40 in receptions from the slot since 2012, only six players have scored more than Maclin's 14 touchdowns from the slot over that span.

Maclin is expected to be the Ravens' slot receiver because Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman provide speed on the outside and Baltimore lost valuable inside targets Steve Smith Sr., Dennis Pitta and Kamar Aiken this offseason.

Wallace, who played alongside Brown for three seasons, said he's "juiced" to have Maclin in the passing attack.

"I was totally confident like I told you when I first got here in the spring. I was excited about our guys then," Wallace said. "Any time you can add a guy like this, I say even better. I think we’re going to have a great receiving corps. You add a guy who has had some 1,000-yard seasons, Pro Bowl, you can’t ask for much more than that."

Maclin's first practice with the Ravens on Wednesday was quiet in one regard. He didn't catch a pass in team drills despite being targeted several times by quarterback Joe Flacco.

But Maclin did have a nearly half-hour, one-on-one conversation with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg -- and the wide receiver did most of the listening -- while Baltimore worked on special teams. Maclin played his first four NFL seasons under Mornhinweg in Philadelphia, which is why many expect an accelerated learning curve.

"First of all, he's gifted," Mornhinweg said. "He's talented. He's smart. He's natural. He's smooth. He has outstanding hands. He's tough, so he's got a lot of great, great qualities. The one that popped into my mind first was consistency. He plays at a high level on a consistent basis. He plays like a Raven. That's the way we want to play."

Maclin is looking to re-establish himself in Baltimore. After totaling numbers similar to Brown and Beckham in 2014 and 2015, Maclin recorded career lows in receptions (44), receiving yards (536) and touchdowns (two) last season.

"It’s always disappointing anytime you don’t go out there and play up to the level that you’re capable of playing," Maclin said. "I was banged up a little bit [groin injury] last year. It took me a while to get back in. It was just one of those years. It puts you back on notice that anything can happen in this league, clearly. It happened to me. It’s a learning experience, but at the same time, everything happens for a reason."