Baltimore Ravens need to draft Michigan State WR Jayden Reed

Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

The Baltimore Ravens need serious wide receiver help. One name for fans to keep an eye on will be Michigan State wide receiver, Jayden Reed. What does he bring to the NFL, and how would he fit the Baltimore Ravens?

Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft Profile: Jayden Reed

Jayden Reed started his voyage to the NFL in 2018 at Western Michigan. Despite playing wide former second-round pick Dee Eskridge, Reed led the team in receiving as a true freshman. He transferred to Michigan State and sat out in 2019.

Then, in 2020 when he was expected to break out, he saw COVID impact his season. the shortened year delayed his breakout until 2021 when he posted 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns. Reed went back to MSU for his senior season, which proved to be a mistake.

He got banged up, the quarterback play got worse, the offense around him fell apart, and he put up just 636 yards and five touchdowns. Still, by the end of his career he amounted to 1,315 routes ran with 698 in the slot, and 702 out wide, showing a diverse player.

Jayden Reed was able to go to the Senior Bowl and answer a lot of questions about his play. He also had a solid performance at the NFL combine.

Jayden Reed is a bit undersized, but his 40-yard dash showed that he can get deep, and take plays to the house.

How Jayden Reed projects to the NFL

His body size projects him as a possession wideout, and that is what he brings. Reed is one of the most refined route runners in the draft class. He has shown an ability to make plays after the catch in the screen game. This is also proven by a long track record in the return game.

Reed has shown to create separation in the intermediate area of the field. Lastly, his combination of route running and speed allowed him to get deep down the field and create as well. This includes ball tracking and even some contested catches that revealed solid strength. His route chart shows a three-level player.

Reed is going to struggle to get off of press and will not blow by the elite defenders in the NFL. He is probably more shifty than he is burner fast. Still, the expectation should be a Z-wide receiver, who can move in and out of the slot, and add value in the return game.

NFL Comparison for Jayden Reed

This may be the more optimistic and upside player, but the best NFL comparison for Jayden Reed is Calvin Ridley.

Calvin Ridley is a bit bigger, but they both took similar routes and came into the NFL as older prospects with more experience than others. Still, the ability to create at all three levels is what Ridley brings, and it is what you can see from Reed if he is able to get in the right spot and thrive. He is going to be a solid route runner right out of the gate and would be best next to a big number one like Ridley saw with Julio Jones.

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Should Baltimore Ravens draft Jayden Reed?

Jayden Reed is exactly the player the Ravens need to have an interest in if they do not draft a wide receiver in the first round. Because of his age and the poor senior season, he is sliding down boards, but the teams that meet with him and see him in person are moving him back up. He could still fall to the third round and would be a great fit in this offense.