The Competition: Wide Receivers
A handful of players will compete for the third spot and to make the roster. by Ryan Mink
Jul 9, 2012, 1:30PM
"The Competition" is a BaltimoreRavens.com series that will break down every position leading up to training camp.
Anquan Boldin (6-foot-1, 223 pounds, 10th season): Boldin is still one of the most sure-handed and hard-nosed receivers in the game. Never a speedster, but adept at running routes both outside and inside, the veteran gives the Ravens offense flexibility. He’s also an excellent blocker.
Torrey Smith (6-0, 205, second season): Smith is trying to become more of a complete receiver after a breakout rookie campaign in which he set a Ravens rookie record with seven touchdowns. His speed stretches defenses, and he’s looking to add more of an underneath game.
Tandon Doss (6-2, 205, second season): After being active for just six games and not catching a single pass, the former fourth-round pick is looking to contribute more this season. Doss has perhaps the best set of hands on the team, but is learning how to better separate from coverage.
David Reed (6-0, 190, third season): Injuries have plagued Reed throughout his brief career. A hand/wrist injury ended his rookie campaign early. A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) cut last season short. He says he’ll be back for training camp, and that fans will finally see his talent.
LaQuan Williams (6-0, 200, second season): It was a fairy tale story when the undrafted rookie made the roster last year. Being active for 12 games and contributing four catches (including two against Pittsburgh in Week 9) was icing on the cake. Now Williams is looking to make more big plays and earn a more permanent spot.
Patrick Williams (6-1, 204, first season): A rookie free agent who signed with Green Bay in 2009, Williams has yet to see game action. The Ravens signed him to their practice squad last December after he was waived by the Packers and Seahawks.
Jacoby Jones (6-2, 212, sixth season): A burner who explodes off the line of scrimmage, Jones should further help the Ravens stretch the field. He’s experienced and very good in his routes. The one knock on Jones from Houston is that he dropped too many balls, and he did have an issue with that occasionally during offseason practices.
Tommy Streeter (6-5, 219, Miami): The sixth-round pick has tantalizing potential with his long frame and 4.3-second speed. Streeter tore it up at Miami for one season, but has yet to string together back-to-back productive years. He’s trying to find consistency in his game.
Deonte Thompson (6-0, 200, Florida): A speedster who claims he can run in the 4.2s, Thompson was hampered in college by injuries, a rotating cast of offensive coordinators and a passing attack that wasn’t known for its vertical explosiveness. The undrafted rookie can also return kicks.
Dorian Graham (5-9, 188, Syracuse): The small-framed undrafted rookie finished his collegiate career with 24 receptions for 260 yards and two touchdowns and had 29 kickoff returns for 685 yards (23.6 avg.) and one score.
Devin Goda (6-2, 225, Slippery Rock): The undrafted rookie has only showcased his tools at the small-school level, but posted 75 receptions for 1,028 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011. He finished his career ranked second on the school’s career receptions and receiving yards lists.
The top two receivers are pretty much a given in Boldin and Smith. Smith could turn into the team’s top target, and most productive receiver, as he continues to build on his game. He feels he should have posted 1,000 receiving yards last year, when he played through a sports hernia.
The best competition is for the No. 3 spot, which gets some action in three-wide packages. It’s likely between Jones, Doss, LaQuan Williams and Reed.
The veteran Jones was given a two-year deal worth a reported $7 million, hinting the Ravens believe he’s the target they need. But Williams had perhaps the best Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp of any wide receiver. Doss spent minicamp on the sideline for unspecified reasons, but was productive in OTAs. Reed has to get healthy before he enters the competition.
Beyond that, it’s a battle just to make the roster in a deep corps. One would think the Ravens would keep five, or maybe six wideouts. The last couple spots could come down to Reed, Streeter, Patrick Williams and the undrafted rookies. Thompson turned a lot of heads during OTAs and minicamp.
Yes, two AFC North wide receiver threads in one day. Aren't you lucky?
I just liked the breakdown in the above article.