2015 Ravens Sleepers: DeAndre Carter the Next Randall Cobb?


May 28, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver DeAndre Carter (16) catches a pass during training camp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

With eleven wide receivers on the roster including first round pick Breshad Perriman and the always mercurial Steve Smith, we forgive you if you haven’t exactly paid much attention to undrafted rookie DeAndre Carter.  But Carter’s sleeper status has already taken some hits as he has been showered with praise for his work thus far this offseason.

Perhaps the biggest praise came from a player Carter has previously been compared to and who he looked up to as a kid, fellow short guy Steve Smith Sr., during OTAs.

"“He’s hungry” Smith said. “I love his attitude. I see a young Randall Cobb in him”"

Coach John Harbaugh had kind words for the pint sized receiver as well, as Carter’s athleticism was on full display in the summer heat.

"“DeAndre’s done a good job,” Harbaugh said. “He’s done a really nice job as a receiver and he’s looked good as a punt returner. He’s had some experience with that in college, so that’s a plus.”"

DeAndre Carter is fully aware of the challenges he faces in the NFL, and he also recognizes that Steve Smith was a bit of a trailblazer who has proven that you don’t have to be six feet plus to be a number one NFL wide receiver.

"“Steve Smith kind of paved a path for shorter receivers in the league,” Carter told The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday as the Ravens prepared to begin their first organized team activity. “He plays with a chip on his shoulder. I liked his game, like the way he plays and model my game after him.”"

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But with a ridiculous amount of competition taking place at the wide receiver position, does Carter possibly stand a chance of making the final roster, let alone making an impact?  It’s a tough call at this point, but the early feedback is encouraging.

Carter has to do battle at a position that is still largely unsettled heading into 2015, but one that is ripe with recent draft picks.  But the Ravens have shown a propensity to keep guys they believe can make an impact in games, regardless of draft status.

With Michael Campanaro out following a quad tear, more opportunity figures to shift Carter’s way.  With not other obvious candidate for kick and punt returns on the roster, perhaps Carter can earn his keep on special teams.  If Camp’s injuries linger, he might even crack the receiver rotation.

As we found out from DeAndre Carter’s idol, never count out the little guy.

Next: Five Ravens who need to step up at OTAs

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