Ravens: This offensive player is poised for a breakout


Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken (11) leaps to celebrate his touchdown catch against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman are supposed to eat up targets and dominate snaps, along with Maxx Williams at the tight end position.  Everybody else is going to split reps at the third wide receiver spot, fighting for scraps.

But there’s a problem with that scenario, and that problem is named Kamar Aiken.  You see, last year’s surprise contributor isn’t going away.  In fact, he’s only gotten better.  You could say that Aiken didn’t get the memo above.

To the average observer, Aiken’s 2014 stats look pretty meager – 24 catches for 267 yards (11.1 avg) and 3 touchdowns.

But to the more savvy Ravens fan (that’s you), the potential outweighs the production, draft status, and anything else you might have heard about.

Let’s just look at a few reasons why you shouldn’t be sleeping on Kamar Aiken at this point.

Aiken, not Breshad Perriman, was running opposite Steve Smith with the first team at OTAs.  Sure, call this veteran deference if you want.  But by all accounts, he ran with the opportunity and made several impressive catches.

He has good size at 6’1″ and 213 pounds, along with very good speed (4.45 second 40).  New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman likes big receivers, if you haven’t heard.

All three of his touchdowns came in the last five games of the season.  Not coincidentally, his snaps increased toward the end of the season.  And that trend continued into the postseason, with his second highest snap count of the year coming against the Patriots in the Divisional Round of the playoffs (when he grabbed another TD). That’s trust.

John Harbaugh mentioned Aiken, along with Michael Campanaro, as “players who have a chance to grow into bigger roles this season.”

John Harbaugh mentioned Aiken, along with Michael Campanaro, as “players who have a chance to grow into bigger roles this season.”

I’m not saying that Kamar Aiken is going to win the starting job opposite Steve Smith and relegate Breshad Perriman to spot duty for the 2015 season, but you can’t rule it out either.  A lot hinges on Perriman’s development over the next two months.

But if there’s any offensive player who has the talent, desire, and the trust of the coaching staff to truly break out in 2015, it’s Kamar Aiken.  At least until further notice.

Next: 5 best Ravens offseason moves

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