4 wide receivers who can help Ravens’ Lamar Jackson take the next step

Brandin Cooks #13 of the Houston Texans. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Brandin Cooks #13 of the Houston Texans. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

1. DeAndre Hopkins

Who else? If we’re talking about establishing an elite QB-WR duo on par with Allen-Diggs, Cousins-Jefferson, or Burrow-Chase, Hopkins is the obvious superstar receiver to bring to Baltimore.

With the Arizona Cardinals going through a bit of an identity crisis following Kliff Kingsbury’s sacking, Hopkins could be on the trade block this offseason. He has a no-trade clause in his contract which means he has a say in an potential future destination, and if he does try to leave Arizona, he’ll probably want to join a Super Bowl contender.

Say it with me: DeAndre Hopkins automatically makes the Ravens a Super Bowl contender.

A Hopkins trade no doubt has its drawbacks: Hopkins’ injury history, while not as concerning as Michael Thomas’, has limited him to just 10 appearances in the last two seasons. It’s a somewhat alarming decline considering Hopkins missed two games in his first eight seasons in the league.

The 31-year-old also isn’t getting any younger, and the injuries may start to build up and take a heavier toll on his future production.

To top it all off, the Ravens probably aren’t going to move mountains of draft capital for Hopkins even if he were available (they only have five picks in the 2023 NFL Draft).

Also, if Baltimore ends up placing the franchise tag on Jackson, they lose significant cap space flexibility and would struggle to fit Hopkins’ $19.5 million salary in the books.

That makes any high-profile offseason acquisition much more difficult, but could Hopkins be worth all the trouble?

Following a six-game suspension, Hopkins exploded to overtake Cardinals’ Marquise Brown for the No. 1 wideout role and quickly rack up 717 yards in nine games. Hopkins’ injuries remain a sore issue; however, there’s no denying that he would be an instant game-changer in Baltimore and help Lamar Jackson reach new heights as a passer.

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Lamar Jackson, DeAndre Hopkins, Rashod Bateman, and J.K. Dobbins? Now that’s an offense one can only dream about.