The Baltimore Ravens have added to the wide receiver position this offseason. Did the Ravens do enough at the position and how does the group of receivers shape up by the end of August?
The Baltimore Ravens started the offseason with some addition by subtraction at the wide receiver position. The Ravens cut Michael Crabtree, who led the NFL in dropped passes during the 2018 season. It didn’t work out with Crabtree and the Ravens were in a familiar position of starting over at the wide receiver position. John Brown went to the Buffalo Bills, making Willie Snead the one 2018 receiver pick up that stuck.
The Ravens actually went into the NFL Draft with almost no experience as an NFL pass catcher. Chris Moore and Seth Roberts were their only somewhat experienced receivers after Snead. The Ravens knew that the receiver position had to be addressed in the NFL Draft. The Ravens got a double dose of receivers in the first three rounds. The Ravens drafted Marquise Brown from Oklahoma and Miles Boykin from Notre Dame. They also added a few undrafted free agents.
So who makes the team?
For the sake of this conversation, let’s assume that the Ravens keep exactly six wide receivers. It’s the exact amount you want to see on the 53 man roster. Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin are locks to make the team (obviously). Willie Snead is the most experienced target the Ravens have and he is a lock as well. Chris Moore provides a lot of special teams value, and he is a player that John Harbaugh’s coaching staff has always believed in. Moore always has a spot on this team.
Those are your locks. This means the competition for the receiver jobs are really for two spots. The only way the Ravens keep seven receivers is if they have three players that all prove unequivocally that they belong. Six is the number to expect the Ravens to keep. This leaves Seth Roberts, Jordan Lasley, Jaleel Scott, Quincy Adeboyejo, Antoine Wesley, Joe Horn Jr., Michael Floyd and Jaylen Smith to fight for spots five and six.
Jaylen Smith has the advantage of being Lamar Jackson’s former teammate. The Louisville receiver though, has inconsistent hands. Smith has to be perfect through training camp and the preseason to make the team and it’s hard to bet on that. Joe Horn Jr. is a long-shot here, but if he is impressive it could land him on the practice squad.
Continuing with the process of elimination Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott have already made first impressions with the Ravens and they weren’t all that compelling. Lasley has more potential than Scott but his hands are an issue he will have a hard time getting the coaching staff to forget about. It’s doubtful that Floyd has much left to offer at this point of his career.
There are three players that seem to emerge as the most likely to get the two spots up for grabs. Seth Roberts is the most proven player competing for a roster spot. Antoine Wesley has the potential to be a diamond in the rough. If Quincy Adeboyejo stays healthy through training camp he can prove himself as a big bodied target.
Predicting the 6 receivers on the Ravens 53 man roster:
- Marquise Brown
- Willie Snead
- Miles Boykin
- Chris Moore
- Seth Roberts
- Antoine Wesley
At the end of training camp think this very well could emerge as the grouping the Ravens are most comfortable with. Roberts is a player potentially entering the prime of his career and he made big plays in his tenure with the Oakland Raiders. Wesley is a player that has the physical traits you look for, and could be a reliable receiver that slipped through the NFL Draft cracks. Assuming the top four spots are locked in the way they should be, this is the most sensible projection of the Ravens’ wide receivers.