Baltimore Ravens Draft Needs: Wide Receiver
After the painful catastrophe that was the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens organization and fans alike began quickly looking forward towards the next season. The first stepping stone in that process is the draft.
With T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte Stallworth now unrestricted free agents, wide receiver is without a doubt a lacking position for the Ravens. Even though Derrick Mason is considered one of the best route runners in the game, he is getting older and losing speed. He remains a reliable, veteran target that can be counted on to move the chains. Our newest acquisition, Anquan Boldin, is great inside and provides the Ravens offense with some yards after the catch. But what the Ravens have been missing for years is a prolific deep threat with speed that can burn the secondary. The rookie out of Utah, David Reed, showed some great potential last year, and many within the Raven’s organization say that he will be a premier name in the league one day. Keep him in mind next season, as he should make an impact in special teams and offense.
Three years ago, Joe Flacco blew away scouters at the combine with his big arm, but he still has yet to use it to its full potential. A deep threat receiver would compliment Flacco’s skillset exponentially. If the Ravens decide to address the problem through the draft, here are some prospects they may look at:
Torrey Smith, Maryland
Junior, 6’1”, 200 pounds
2010 Stats: 67 receptions, 1,055 yards, 12 touchdowns
Smith is a big, fast, and versatile guy who can get down field and most importantly, catch the ball. Smith fits the Ravens mold well. He has first round talent, but could easily fall to the second round.
Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh
Junior, 6’5”, 230
2010 Stats: 53 receptions, 822 yards, 5 touchdowns
Baldwin is another big physical guy who can make plays when it counts. But his character and off the field issues have been questioned by many. The Ravens have typically stayed away from those kind of players, but may take a gamble if he’s there in the second round.
Titus Young, Boise State
Senior; 5’11”, 170
2010 Stats: 71 receptions, 1,215 yards, 9 touchdowns
Titus Young is fast, athletic, and a prototype deep threat. He’s versatile and would work well in the slot, but his off the field issues remain a concern. He looks to be a second round pick but some say he could slide to the third.
The Ravens undoubtedly need help at WR. Many say that they’ll look to free agency, but don’t be surprised if they go for one in the draft. Realistically, it’s doubtful they’ll go for one in the first round, given their other needs at DB, OL, and LB.