With the exception of Anquan Boldin, the Baltimore Ravens’ tightends and receivers are all under 26. Rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss look to move in the starting line up, as second year receiver David Reed also gets into the mix. With Derrick Mason and Todd Heap gone, the experience leaves as well. Though getting younger is a positive, the lack of mentors and experience proves to be a bigger problem.
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Though the free agency frenzy has calmed down, the Ravens are still on the market for a receiver. Jerricho Cotchery and Lee Evans are in their crosshairs as they would like to add an experienced veteran to aid Anquan Boldin in the molding of young players. Torrey Smith is expected to jump into the number two spot right away, but his lack of experience and a full offseason is worrisome. David Reed has more experience and looks to be a promising receiver, but I don’t know if he’s ready to step into a starting role. Acquiring a veteran that can handle big games (Week 1 vs. the Steelers comes to mind) is a priority. The younger receivers can definitely start and be successful at some point, but it may be too risky to throw them into the fire without a full offseason.
The tight end situation is an entirely different issue. Ed Dickson is a playmaker with great hands but lacks the blocking ability that the Ravens will need to become a strong running team. Dennis Pitta is a smart young player but lacks the athleticism that Dickson does. I believe Dickson can start but I would feel more comfortable with a veteran at the helm.
It’s going to be a scintillating preseason and I’m interested to see how the depth chart will fill out.