Position Outlook: Wide Receiver
Our position outlook series continues with the wide receiver position. Click here for a full list of position outlooks that have already been published.
The Ravens’ receiving corps is both revamped and reloaded, with versatile weapons Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth being brought in, while also keeping Derrick Mason and Co. around from last year. There will be intense competition in this group. Some of that competition will be for a starting spot, some will be simply for playing time, and there will also be some great competition for just making the team.
Right now, there are 12 receivers under contract, and I’d say four of them (Boldin, Mason, Stallworth, Clayton) will make the team easily. The most receivers the team carried at one time last season was 6, so 8 (or more) guys will be vying for 2 spots. Should be a very fun summer seeing this competition unfold.
Click “Continue Reading” for a complete overview of the weapons the Ravens have at the wide receiver position this season, plus a projected depth chart.
PROJECTED DEPTH CHART:
|Anquan Boldin||6’1”||217 lbs.||29||84 rec, 1024 yds, 4 TD|
|Derrick Mason||5’10”||192 lbs.||36||73 rec, 1028 yds, 7 TD|
|Donte Stallworth||6’0”||220 lbs.||29||(DNP in 2009)-17 rec, 170 yds in ‘08|
|Mark Clayton||5’10”||190 lbs.||27||34 rec, 480 yds, 2 TD|
|Demetrius Williams||6’2”||197 lbs.||27||8 rec, 142 yds, 1 TD|
|David Reed||6’0”||190 lbs.||23||81 rec, 1188 yds, 5 TD (@Utah)|
|Marcus Smith||6’1”||215 lbs.||25||Has never seen live NFL action at WR|
|Justin Harper||6’3”||215 lbs.||25||Has never seen live NFL action at WR|
|Eron Riley||6’3”||200 lbs.||22||Has never seen live NFL action at WR|
|Rodelin Anthony||6’5”||230 lbs.||23||16 rec, 240 yds, 4 TD (@UNLV)|
|Chris Hannon||6’3”||205 lbs.||26||Has never seen live NFL action at WR|
|Maurice Price||6’1”||200 lbs.||24||Has never seen live NFL action at WR|
Since this position is so deep, we’ll go through these a bit faster than we did with the QB and RB outlook. Just a quick note about the depth chart, the “Has Never Seen live NFL action at WR” label is for the guys who have been in the league for a few years, but have either never been in a game, or when they have, were on special teams. I gave the rookies their college stats because those are their relevant stats at this point in their career.
There’s not much that hasn’t been said about him already. He’s a stud, he knows how to win and hopefully he’ll be a star for the Ravens. He’s arrived to much fanfare, and hopefully will deliver on that. The team got him incredibly cheap (3rd and 4th round pick), so there isn’t a huge amount of pressure on him in that sense. Regardless of what they gave up to get Boldin however, the fans and the team will expect a lot, possibly too much. He’s said that he loves Joe Flacco as a quarterback already, and that he’s excited to be a Raven.
After threatening retirement the past two seasons, this might be Mason’s final season. No matter how old he gets, he’ll always be incredibly productive, making those first down catches and doing about 57 nice toe-taps each on the line each game. He’ll take a bit of a backseat this season with Boldin and Stallworth coming in, but I would bet a good amount of coin that he’ll be productive like he always is.
Putting Stallworth at #3 behind Boldin and Mason may seem like a bit of a surprise because he hasn’t played a meaningful game since December of 2008, but I believe he’ll be a major contributor to the Ravens’ offense this season. His speed will give Flacco a vertical threat, and the threat of his speed might ease things up a bit for Mason and Boldin coverage-wise.
Clayton has seemed like the odd man out since his breakout sophomore season in 2006 where he nearly eclipsed 100 yards and looked like a great talent for years to come. Now that he has real competition for playing time, one of two things will happen. He will either step up and grow into that potential the Ravens saw when they drafted him in the first round out of Oklahoma, or he will fade down the depth chart and have to fight for significant playing time. Personally, I believe he’ll do the latter.
I honestly think that if he doesn’t step up his performance this summer, he’ll be cut from the team. If he does win this #5 spot like I predict, I think he salvages his roster spot. He’s tall and very fast, so it seems like he’d be a perfect fit for Flacco’s big arm. He’s always flashed signs of immense talent, but more than often, he’s shown signs of mediocrity.
If Reed gets this #6 spot, I think that’s as many receivers as they carry. I believe that they’ll give Reed a pretty big leash, much bigger than Williams’, mainly due to the fact that he’s a fresh, new draft pick. Williams has been around and has run out of chances. Unless Reed has a horrible training camp, he should get a spot on the roster. He’s already been showing good hands and a great work ethic at rookie camp, so things are looking up for his future.
Now, we move onto the guys that I don’t think will make the roster. There are some very good players on this list, so I believe it will be a very small gap between those who make it and don’t. These guys will get less of a write-up than the previous six. Move onto the next page to see the next six receiving prospects.