Now is the time for Ravens to pursue a veteran receiver

Ravens, James Proche (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, James Proche (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

With several months to go before the start of the 2022 season, the Baltimore Ravens must look to boost their weakened wide receiver room.

Losing Sammy Watkins and Miles Boykin was to be expected, but Baltimore now has a more urgent need to bring on at least one more starting-caliber wideout for 2022.

Boykin, a 2018 third-round pick, failed to develop a major role in the Ravens’ passing offense, and his release along with Watkins’ departure leaves a sizeable void.

Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman stand as the top two wide receivers on the roster, but the two of them only have four years of experience combined, with Bateman missing the first five weeks of his rookie year due to injury.

Behind those two, the team has mostly unproven youth in James Proche, Devin Duvernay, and Tylan Wallace. Six of the seven receivers on Baltimore’s roster have just two years of NFL experience or less, and the Ravens would be wise to start the hunt for a veteran wideout this offseason.

Baltimore Ravens should start looking for veteran wideouts in 2022

At this stage, not too many elite free-agent options remain, with the best wide receivers likely too expensive for the Ravens to bring on. Jarvis Landry could be a quality addition if he lowers his asking price, but Odell Beckham Jr. or Julio Jones are too pricey and are coming off of injuries as well.

Of all the free agents, we like former New York Jets wideout Keelan Cole the most, as Cole possesses both the size (6-foot-1) and experience to turn into a productive playmaker in Baltimore’s offense.

Last season with the Jets, Cole posted 449 yards and one touchdown in 15 games, but he recorded 642 yards in 2020. Under the arm of an experienced quarterback like Lamar Jackson, though, Cole could grow into a more reliable threat, and his ceiling in 2022 is decently high.

A key factor in the Ravens’ search for wide receiver reinforcements will be size. Rashod Bateman is the only wideout on the roster taller than 6 feet, and Baltimore’s lack of size in the passing game may hurt them in 2022, especially when it comes to contested catches.

As they have in years prior, Baltimore could draft a receiver prospect in the later rounds, and if so, they’ll want to find someone with the athletic measurables to balance their smaller-bodied receiving room.

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Other positions require more attention than the wide receiver unit, but the Ravens shouldn’t be satisfied with where they are, either. Change is coming.