Ravens WR convert has chance at 53-man roster after impressive minicamp

The Ravens could find depth in the most unusual of places.
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Robin Alam/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Malik Cunningham saw the writing on the wall. After the Ravens signed Josh Johnson to be Lamar Jackson's backup and used a sixth-round draft pick on Devin Leary, he knew there was no chance of him making the team as a quarterback.

Cunningham has decided to make the change to wide receiver, hoping his impressive athleticism can enable him to stick around in the pros. Position changes like this are rare in the NFL, as learning an entirely different set of specialized skills on the fly is more than most can manage.

The Ravens currently have Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and Nelson Agholor poised to be the top three players on the depth chart with rookie Devontez Walker manning the fourth spot. The Ravens seem to be taking all comers as they fill out the final spots, and Cunningham appears to have a puncher's chance at making it.

Cunningham, who was targeted quite frequently at Ravens OTAs and minicamp, was called a "natural" by head coach John Harbaugh. After experimenting with running routes last season, the full-time conversion seems to have earned him tremendous reviews early on in 2024.

Malik Cunningham could make Ravens 53-man roster after impressive minicamp

Cunningham was regarded as a premium athlete during his time at Louisville, often using his electric running to make something out of nothing in the same vain as Jackson before him. At 6-1 and slightly under 200 pounds, Cunningham actually has fairly solid size for the position.

With some respectable 4.53 40-yard dash speed and the knowledge of a quarterback, Cunningham has all the tools to make this roster as the No. 5 wide receiver on the team. Preseason will be what ultimately decides if he makes the team, as the Ravens need to gauge him against actual competition.

Cunningham will need to compete with Tylan Wallace, a fourth-year receiver who has also drawn rave reviews for his play, to make the roster. Deonte Harty likely has a spot locked down as a returner, and undrafted free agent Dayton Wade has also received praise from staring fullback Pat Ricard.

Converting Cunningham to wide receiver may have seemed like a waste of time and effort when it was originally announced, but it appears he has taken to this like a duck to water. Rather than risk losing him, Baltimore may try to keep him around as a backup and sandblast some of the rough edges off.