Wide receiver is one of the most intriguing positions for the Baltimore Ravens this season. Here’s a look at the revamped receiving core.
No more Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin or Michael Campanaro. After posting one of the least effective passing offenses last season, the Baltimore Ravens enter the 2018 season with a clean slate. Ozzie Newsome and company retooled almost the entire position and just a few familiar pass-catchers remain. It was a necessary commitment and quarterback Joe Flacco has a new arsenal of weapons to target.
Here’s a look at all of the new additions in Baltimore this season.
Michael Crabtree: After burning the Ravens’ secondary the last three seasons with the Raiders, Michael Crabtree joins the new-look receiving core. He was a surprise cap casualty after the addition of Jordy Nelson in Oakland and the Ravens wasted no time getting Crabtree on the phone. He signed a three-year deal and assumes to be the No. 1 target for Joe Flacco this season. A big-bodied possession receiver with a knack for grabbing touchdowns, Crabtree should bring an Anquan Boldin-like threat to the offense.
John Brown: Brown was the first official offseason wide receiver signing for the Ravens. The speedy target appeared in just 10 games last season with the Cardinals due to injury but has the potential to stretch defenses with his vertical speed. If Brown can stay healthy for 16 games, he’ll be on the receiving end of plenty of deep bombs via Joe Flacco. Brown has averaged 14.5 yards per catch in four seasons, a number the Ravens will hope he’ll continue heading into the 2018 season.
Willie Snead: A limited receiver pool left the Ravens with few receiver options and the front office dabbled in the restricted free agent market. They landed Willie Snead on a two-year offer sheet after he became expendable on the depth chart in New Orleans. Injuries and a suspension made Snead a non-factor on the field but his gritty nature of play will help the passing game all over the field. He’s already begun to gain a rapport with Flacco and Snead could very well find his top form from the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Chris Moore: He’s only one of two remaining receivers that caught a pass in the regular season for the Ravens last season. Moore stepped up and became a top receiving option for the offense with injuries and inconsistencies ravaging the depth chart. He finished with 248 yards and three touchdowns on the season and all indications point that his best football is ahead. Labeled as one of the surprise standouts for the Ravens this offseason, Moore has the luxury of possessing the most chemistry with Flacco.
Breshad Perriman: The 2017 season was one to forget for Breshad Perriman. Unfortunately, in his case, the entire rookie contract tenure has been filled with disappointments. Perriman caught just 10 passes for 77 yards and was a regular occurrence on the inactives list towards the end of the season. In what’s figured to be his final year in Baltimore after the Ravens declined his fifth-year option, Perriman will have to prove himself now more than ever. But the question remains, does the offseason give him enough of an opportunity to do that?
The rookies: Contrary to belief heading into the NFL draft, the Ravens did not select a wide receiver on Day 1 or Day 2. They opted to select tight ends and waited until the final day to take receivers, Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley. Both rookies possess different skills, Scott being the tall jump-ball threat and Lasley being the shifty vertical receiver. Breshad Perriman’s likely departure means one or both rookies could find their way on to the 53-man roster, depending on how many receivers the Ravens opt for.
The undrafted talent: Behind all the names mentioned above, there is undrafted talent consisting from Tim White and Quincy Adeboyejo entering their second seasons along with a slew of undrafted rookies in Janarion Grant, Andre Levrone, Jaelon Acklin. Canadian Football standout DeVier Posey is also included in this list. These players face an uphill battle but the position is wide open with a completely new group. With Michael Campanaro gone, one undrafted player could find their way onto the roster as a return specialist.