Position Outlook: Wide Receiver

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Marcus Smith:

Smith was poised to be a key contributor last season before he landed on the IR in the team’s first preseason game. With the new guys brought in, and the other guys that capitalized on his injury, separating themselves from him, I don’t think he’ll make the cut. The practice squad could be an option, but he seems a bit too talented for that level of football. You could expect him to ask for a release if he doesn’t make the roster.

Justin Harper:

Harper is athletic, versatile, explosive and overall a great athlete. The problem is that he’s as raw of a receiver as you’ll find. He drops the ball a lot, makes mental mistakes and runs sloppy routes. Now, don’t get the wrong impression, I really, really like Harper. Of any of these borderline guys, I’d like to see him make the roster the most, just to see what he could bring to the team.

Eron Riley:

Riley got very little attention coming out of Duke, probably because his team only won 6 out of 47 games in his four seasons there, but he’s an incredible physical specimen. Routinely running 40s in the 4.2 area, he can stretch a field. But similar to Harper, he’s raw and not quite talented enough to be a successful NFL receiver.

Rodelin Anthony:

A guy who’s as big as Joe Flacco, Anthony’s best attribute is his size. He’s not a particularly fast guy, but he can get up high and catch a ball. He’s got some upside, but he’s just not polished enough for the NFL. A year on the practice squad would probably be very beneficial to the former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel.

Chris Hannon:

An NFL journeyman, plying his trade on practice squads on several different cities, Hannon has never been given a good opportunity to shine. Also a guy who can run 40s in the 4.2 to 4.3 range, the Ravens are loading up on these fast, athletic guys. He’s got a good amount of experience, but at 26, may be considered a bit old for the practice squad.

Maurice Price:

A guy similar to Hannon, who has made stops with a few NFL teams and one CFL team, Price had a great preseason for the Chiefs in 2006, but hasn’t made an active roster during his NFL time. He was added to the Ravens’ practice squad in December 2009, and I’d expect him to stay there. If there’s one thing you have to grant him, it’s that he’s a guy with incredible jumping ability.

So there you have it. A very jumbled mess of receivers is now still very jumbled and messy. The Ravens are incredibly deep at receiver this season, as all 12 of these guys could compete for roster spots anywhere in the NFL. Regardless of who does make the cut, it it seems like the team is finally bringing in more athletic and more versatile weapons at the receiver position.

The next position outlook will be examining the very interesting group of tight ends.

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Tags: Anquan Boldin Anthony Rodelin Chris Hannon David Reed Demetrius Williams Derrick Mason Donte Stallworth Eron Riley Justin Harper Marcus Smith Mark Clayton Maurice Price Ravens Depth Charts Ravens Position Battles Ravens Receivers

  • http://twitter.com/stukes stukes

    i pretty much agree with your post. i dont know that much about the guys on the second page aside from price, since i follow him on twitter, harper and smith. i figured reed would make the roster since he was drafted this year. i wish williams would get better, hes been around for a while and i just want to see something out of him. i remember plays from mason (thats a given) and clayton, but not williams. i even remember seeing marcus smith on the field, but i dont remember anything about williams.

  • http://www.ebonybird.com Joe Barnes

    Williams is such a tricky topic. Personally, I don’t know why he’s still on the roster, but I’m not the one who controls the team. Whether the coaches like him, or whether the front office wants to see if he can finally live up to his potential, or whether the players want to keep him around because he’s a funny guy, he’s still on the roster. I’d assume he’d have an incredibly short leash this season.