Dec 21, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Flacco has never been a QB1 kind of guy (only once, in 2010), but he did put up some impressive numbers in 2014. Marc Trestman has a reputation as a quarterback whisperer, and Flacco stands to benefit from the tutoring of a coach who made some magic with Jay Cutler.
In his 13 years of coaching offenses, Trestman’s units have always ranked in the top half in passing attempts. Still, Flacco has a pair of rookies and the aging Steve Smith as his main weapons heading into 2015, so it’s tough to predict just how much he can improve on last year’s numbers. He’s a solid QB2 target once again, at the worst.
Speaking of Steve Smith, if you drafted him in later rounds last year, you were obviously happy with how he performed. At least in the first half of the season, when he started on a tear and then eventually began to run out of gas. But with Torrey Smith in San Francisco and a somewhat raw Breshad Perriman behind him, Smith is looking like a nice value once again as a sure bet to hog targets.
Perriman is a tough call at this point. If he develops as hoped and can win a starting job opposite Smith, the sky is the limit. Torrey Smith was always a target monster in this offense, so the opportunity will be there. Perriman’s current 8th round average draft position could turn out to be an absolute steal if he can take over that role.
Kamar Aiken ran with the first team at OTAs, and is the biggest threat to Perriman’s path to a starting job. Aiken was a valuable role player and red zone threat down the stretch last season for the Ravens, but doesn’t have the natural talent and size/speed combination that Perriman has. Aiken is no slouch, but the talented rookie can’t be denied forever.
Also on Ebony Bird: Training Camp Battle Preview, Wide Receiver
The rest of the wide receiving group is a toss up. Michael Campanaro is talented but too often hurt, and Marlon Brown was largely phased out of the offense last year. Rookies Darren Waller and DeAndre Carter are intriguing, but have to win a roster spot and playing time first.
Maxx Williams is probably being overrated at this point, but whoever wins the starting tight end job in this offense figures to be worthy of a fantasy roster spot. Joe Flacco loves his tight ends, and so does Marc Trestman. Martellus Bennett put up his best two seasons under Trestman in Chicago, so this camp battle is worth monitoring.
Next: Rushing Offense
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