Everyone is talking about how good the Baltimore Ravens running game will be once again in 2020, but don’t sleep on this wide receiver group.
Throughout its history, the Baltimore Ravens have never had an elite wide receiving core. They’ve had some solid duos, such as Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin or Steve Smith, Sr. and Torrey Smith. Both of those duos only last one season each, however, so they can be easily forgotten about. In recent years, the Ravens have simply gotten by with a subpar cast of wide receivers that was overseen by a power-run game and good tight end play.
That narrative could be changing in 2020.
Headed into the season, fans have never been more excited about the team’s wide receiver room. It’s headlined by second-year man Marquise Brown, better known to many as “Hollywood.” Brown was sensational as a rookie, even though he wasn’t ever at 100%. Brown tied a franchise rookie record seven touchdown receptions in just 14 games. He put on a show in the playoffs, too, reeling in seven passes for 126-yards. Now that he’s fully healthy, the connection between him and Lamar Jackson looks to be one of the NFL’s next great combos.
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After Brown is a slew of quality guys. Willie Snead is the veteran of the group, headed into his third season with the team. Snead has caught 93 passes for 990-yards and six touchdowns in his first two seasons with the team. More importantly, Snead has been a team-first player who gives his all on every down. He’s the Ravens’ best run-blocking receiver, and that speaks volumes given how much this team runs the football.
Miles Boykin is the next guy on our list of quality receivers. Boykin is headed into his second season with Baltimore after compiling 13 receptions for 198-yards and three touchdowns as a rookie. Boykin was a third-round pick in 2019, so there is some heavy investment in the 23-year old. What Boykin brings to the table that the rest of the team’s receivers lack is size. At 6’4″ 220-lbs., Boykin has the body to be a throw-it-up receiver and a red-zone nightmare. he may develop nicely into this role in 2020 and could see some red-zone looks as a flex tight end.
Beyond these three are the rookie duo of Devin Duvernay and James Proche. Duvernay was a third-round pick who has great hands and some serious speed to light up defenses. He’ll be a great player in the slot and could flourish in that role. Proche brings some size to the positions standing at 6’0″ 193-lbs., but he has some special teams prowess and could see a lot of time returning after De’Anthony Thomas opted out of the 2020 season.
That’s five guys who could all make a significant mark on the Ravens season in 2020. Lamar Jackson has to be stoked about the potential of this group, but more importantly about the vast amount of things they can do for him. This group is fast, big, tough, and has an alpha-dog mentality. It’s a unit the likes of which Ravens Flock is remarkably unfamiliar with.
It may not be the flashiest group in the league, but it’s one that has the Baltimore Ravens fan base juiced for its potential. With a variety of different roles and some great upside, this 2020 Ravens wide receiving core could be one of the funnest we’ve ever seen.