The NFL offseason is a big chance for the Baltimore Ravens to improve at the wide receiver position:
The Baltimore Ravens have no excuse when it comes to their receiver needs this season as they have plenty of options. There are big name free agents like Jarvis Landry and Allen Robinson. Several big name receivers, one of them being Michael Crabtree could become available. Paul Richardson, Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee are slated to become free agents.
This is where you may be worried about cap space; however freeing up cap space has never been a problem for the purple and black. Ozzie Newsome can part with some dead weight on the roster and the superstar receiver can come to Baltimore. The Ravens have to be willing to spend at this position. They’ve never had a true number one target. That can change with one move.
The NFL Draft is also filled with wide receiver prospects. There are six receivers that I covet enough to draft in the first round. They are Courtland Sutton, Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore, James Washington, Christian Kirk and Auden Tate. There are several receivers that I have a second round grade on as well, Anthony Miller being my favorite of them. We’ll get more into the prospects as we go along, just know that there are a bunch of good options.
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This is going to be the best season for drafting wide receivers. Last year’s crop of receivers was disappointing. Teams don’t want to find themselves wasting the first year on a developing player. While I would argue that the low yielding results from last year’s receiving prospects are not the norm and that Corey Davis is showing a ton of promise still, that could impact teams drafting a receiver. The Ravens know all about being gun-shy at this position, but they have to leap at opportunity this April. The 16th pick should probably be a wide receiver.
This is also a quarterback heavy year. Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson all have a legitimate case to be high picks. Some people even have Josh Allen as one of the top guys, a thought that I don’t quite understand. The point is that if two or three quarterbacks go, there could be some receivers that fall to the 16th pick. Thanks to Ezekiel Elliott changing the tide, running backs are once again top-10 prospects. The top 10 could see three quarterbacks, Saquon Barkley and a couple of offensive tackles. If teams go defense, the Ravens will have their pick at wide receiver.
The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is that this is a year that could treat wide receiver needy teams nicely. The Ravens have to get better at the play-making positions and this is their chance. The Ravens can’t ignore the wide receiver position; if they’re smart they’ll use both free agency and the NFL Draft to solve their problem.
It gets said every year: This is a big offseason. Guess what, it is. This offseason is a make or break moment for a team that keeps falling short. The Ravens need to hit on their draft picks. They need to be aggressive in free agency. This is the year to get receivers.