Baltimore Ravens free agency: Sammy Wakins is good enough
Sammy Watkins may be the Ravens’ best chance at getting the wide receiver help they need. Watkins is a player who has never been anything less than solid at the NFL level. He just put up 37 receptions for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020. That’s in an offense that has more weapons and a higher volume passing game.
Watkins may not be a 50-60 catch receiver for the Chiefs anymore. It is very easy to imagine the 27-year-old receiver reaching that plateau for the Ravens. In 2019, Watkins had 52 grabs for 673 yards. He’s not a number one receiver, and that’s okay.
If he comes close to the numbers he put up in 2019 it’s enough for the Ravens offense to function as optimally as intended. Watkins seems like he’s been around forever though it’s not like he’s an old receiver. If he was good enough for Andy Reid, a pass game guru, he’s good enough for John Harbaugh.
There probably isn’t a Ravens fan alive right now who isn’t actively checking for updates on Kenny Golladay. Would Golladay be better than Wakins? That goes without saying. If Golladay ends up with the New York Giants, Watkins becomes a very safe consolation prize.
Watkins on the other side of Marquise Brown would work. With Devin Duvernay in the slot and Mark Andrews at the tight end, the Ravens could have a more spread-out offense, that attacks less predictably with the passing game.
Watkins may not be the huge and physical target that Baltimore has imagined in the offense. That being said he’s 6-1 and Miles Boykin rarely plays like he’s a bigger target. Watkins is good enough. He’s much more reliable than Boykin, a player you have to wonder if the Ravens are really going to get anything out of.
Watkins also fits the offense really well. He’s a slightly bigger target yet his game is predicated mostly on quickness and speed. That’s what the Ravens want in this offense. They want to surround the fastest quarterback you’ll ever see with the fastest offense. That’s why the Ravens drafted J.K. Dobbins and Devin Duvernay. It’s in line with what they’ve been building.
We’re at the point where the targets are getting crossed out from the list. Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marvin Jones, A.J. Green, and Will Fuller are all signed. Most of the receivers that Ravens fans and bloggers have spent the offseason talking about are off the menu. Watkins is probably the best available receiver if the Ravens can’t get Golladay.
Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews had just under 60 catches in 2020. In the best-case scenario, Watkins would give them a third 50 reception player. Falling short of that would still make a bigger impact than Boykin ever has.
While there is a point to be made about not developing receivers, Boykin has had a chance. In his second season, the Ravens were starving at the receiver position and mostly ignored their two rookie receivers. Making the case that Boykin didn’t get a chance is just crazy talk.
Brown, Watkins, and Duvernay will work. Willie Snead deserves our respect, yet Watkins is a better player than him. The bar isn’t that high in Baltimore when it comes to wide receivers. They just need one more piece to make their passing attack complete enough to let it grow with Action Jackson.
The Bottom Line:
Would it be a pleasant surprise to see the Ravens land Golladay? Absolutely. Would Watkins to Baltimore be good enough to make this thing work? You bet. This is a move that is becoming more and more likely.
The Ravens have to sign a receiver, right? They have to make sure they at least have something more at the position before the NFL Draft, right? Well, the Ravens seem to get it. They’ve been trying and so far it hasn’t worked out.
Trying is a good sign. Watkins may not be the one present you asked for, but you’re not going to complain about it either. That’s the point, Watkins defines good enough for Baltimore. That’s good enough.