Aug 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) congratulates wide receiver Jeremy Butler (17) after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens are currently hosting perhaps the most competitive wide receiver competition in the history of the team. Of the eleven guys competing for a roster spot, we can probably count on only six or seven of them actually receiving one. That means that several talented players are going to find themselves on the street by the time final cuts roll around.
Jeremy Butler knows the struggle all too well. After signing with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie last offseason, Butler was well on his way to making a good impression in OTAs and minicamp before spraining his shoulder and winding up on injured reserve. So much so that John Harbaugh even named Butler as a young player the Ravens were excited about in his season ending press conference.
Now healthy, Butler is once again playing the numbers game this offseason. It’s a tough rotation to crack when you break things down. First rounder Breshad Perriman and Steve Smith Sr. are obvious locks. Michael Campanaro was a sixth round choice last year and the Ravens spent a sixth rounder on Darren Waller this year. Also returning are Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown. Undrafted rookie DeAndre Carter has been making noise in OTAs as well.
Butler has, so far, done his part this offseason. So far in OTAs he has run pretty much run every type of route with ease, hauled in several catches (many of them contested), and by all accounts looks faster than you would expect him to be. Plus, it’s a well known fact that new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman likes big bodied receivers, which Butler certainly is (6’2″, 218 pounds).
So while Jeremy Butler appears to be a truly forgotten man in the Ravens’ current crop of wide receivers, it would be unwise to count him out just yet. The Ravens obviously like him, and he fills a role that the team needs filled. And unlike last offseason, he’s fully healthy and ready to make a name for himself. Now he just has to win a game he has no control over – the numbers game.
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