Baltimore Ravens fans want what they’ve always wanted and never really gotten. They want a superstar at wide receiver. The problem is that the Ravens don’t usually make the right decision at the wide receiver position in the NFL Draft. Free agency is the best path for the Ravens to improve their pass-catching situation.
Plan A: Allen Robinson
Signing Allen Robinson would be like putting all your eggs in one basket. The Ravens would have to shell out mega-money to get the most coveted receiver in this year’s free-agent crop. It’s not quite a blank check situation, though it would cost the Ravens about $20 million per season. That’s pass rusher money, that’s typically quarterback and left tackle money…it’s rough to give that to a wide receiver.
Bringing Robinson on board would be fixing the receiving corps in one move. The Ravens would have a number one receiver. Marquise Brown would be a very strong number two-target. Willie Snead would be gone and it would give room for young receivers like Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay to grow up a bit in the NFL.
Robinson had 102 receptions for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns with the Chicago Bears. It’s not like the Bears are a passing utopia either, so this is seriously impressive. Robinson caught five passes or more in almost every game of the 2020 season. He’s more than reliable, he makes things happen in the passing game.
Robinson has had two seasons in a row over 90 grabs and over 1,000 yards. He’s a 6-2 receiver with toughness and the ability to win the jump ball. Ravens fans always wanted another Anquan Boldin. Robinson has the same ability to win the tough jump balls, yet he has more athleticism and explosive play-making ability than Boldin had. If you’re not sold on Robinson, the price tag is the only possible reason. He’s by far the best option.
Plan B: Two cheaper upgrades
No matter what John Harbaugh or anybody says, the Ravens have to upgrade their talent at the receiver position. If the Ravens make the moves they need to, none of the words given to us will mean a thing. For the time being, we have to trust that the organization sees the problem.
Signing Robinson is going to be hard. The contract he will receive means a contract or two others won’t. If the Ravens bring in Robinson they can’t re-sign Yannick Ngakoue. They may lose Matt Judon too. That would make pass rushers the Ravens’ top NFL Draft need. I trust the Ravens more to draft pass rushers than pass catchers. That being said, there is a reason Eric DeCosta may see another path.
The Ravens could bring in a player like Corey Davis from the Tennessee Titans. According to Spotrac.com Davis has a market value of $10 million per season. That’s basically half the price for Robinson. If A.J. Brown weren’t so good, Davis would have become the number one target in Tennessee. Davis had 65 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns in 2020.
On the other side of Marquise Brown, he’d do the trick. Davis would be a big-bodied target for Jackson and he should fit nicely in the Ravens’ offense. Baltimore would still have to pick up one more receiver to completely change their receiving situation. They could either re-sign Willie Snead or they could go after a player like Curtis Samuel. Samuel would make a lot of sense with the Ravens.
Some other notable free agents at the position include Sammy Watkins, Will Fuller, Marvin Jones, and T.Y. Hilton. Robinson should be looked at as the top get. Davis and somebody else at the right price is plan B. Even if that somebody else becomes Snead or even a player like John Ross. If at least one of these receivers isn’t a Raven after the first wave of free agency, then we have a problem.
The bottom line:
The bottom line is that the Ravens have to do something at wide receiver. They can’t get by with the talent they have had the last two seasons. Something has to change. If you believe in the quarterback and the coordinator is going to remain, that something has to involve the talent they have to work with.
The Ravens need a wide receiver or two. It’s that simple. Getting this problem done in free agency allows you the freedom to go after other things in the 2021 NFL Draft. Pass rushers, a starting center, and depth in the secondary are all things that need to be gotten in the draft. For a successful draft, where the Ravens focus on their needs they actually draft well, free agency has to get them receiver help.