Who the Baltimore Ravens lost this off-season and who replaces them
Lost: Michael Crabtree
Of all the 2018 off-season additions the Baltimore Ravens made, there was none more disappointing than Michael Crabtree. Crabtree, who had thrived in his previous three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, was expected to be Baltimore’s X-receiver and provide the team with a dominant outside receiver who could catch touchdowns and make tough grabs. What they got was a washed up vet who’s likely played his last game in the league.
Crabtree was a complete bomb for the Ravens, racking up 607 receiving yards on 54 catches and just three touchdowns. It felt like Crabtree dropped more balls than he caught, and his paltry catch rate of 54.0% was downright terrible. He surely won’t be missed anytime soon and is a memory Ravens Flock would like to forget as soon as possible.
Finding a suitable replacement for Crabtree wouldn’t be difficult because of the low bar he set, but it was nonetheless imperative. The need for a reliable target for Lamar Jackson was perhaps the team’s biggest need this off-season, and they may have found just that via the 2019 NFL Draft.
Replacement: Miles Boykin
Michael Crabtree’s stone hands are now being replaced by Miles Boykin’s Velcro-like fingers. If the ball is anywhere near Boykin, odds are he’s coming down with that pass. As a senior, Boykin reeled in 59 passes for 872-yards and eight touchdowns. This production came in-spite of the inconsistency at quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Now, the Baltimore Ravens are banking on Boykin to be a strong outside receiver who can be a threat in the red-zone and make tough grabs. Sound familiar? It should, because those were the expectations we set for Michael Crabtree, albeit without asking Boykin to be the team’s X.
Boykin, who will turn 23-years old in October, will rise to the occasion as a rookie and give Baltimore a safety blanket for Lamar Jackson. As the two grow together, there’s a strong chance they build chemistry with one-another and give the Ravens its best QB/WR duo since Joe Flacco and Steve Smith Sr.