I doubt they'll trade for a WR.
They seem to be committed to a team-wide youth movement.
I also doubt it's a coincidence that they signed 2 UDFA WRs: Gerard Sheppard & Omarius Hines, who are physically comparable in size to Boldin, only faster.
I'm cool with the wait and see approach. There weren't too many WRs in the draft that we didn't already physically have on the team in a sense. I'm also of the thought that the QB can make a young group of WRs better (the I believe in you enough to throw you the ball factor) that in turn makes a young player want to step up. As Ozzie always says, there are always football players.
They will almost surely take at least a look in the 2nd FA market if a player comes available. Its just in their M.O. to do so.
If it makes some of you feel better, Pitta is their new slot WR. Which is probably not really that far off.
I am going to harp on this all off-season. Give the young WRs a chance. We are talking about FA WRs and making trades for veterans. None of them got to where they were today, until they got a chance during the regular season to build a reputation. For example, from what we saw of Deonte Thompson catching passes from Tyrod Taylor, you don't think he could make explosive plays catching passes from Joe Flacco? However, we all know he wasn't going to get that chance with Boldin on the roster. That doesn't mean he can't do it.
We are relying on a group of players selected in the 4th rd. or later, some of whom weren't even drafted. The odds are against them.
Yes, many of them haven't gotten many snaps due to health. But if they can't stay healthy it doesn't really matter how much potential they have.
If Ozzie and crew don't like what they see in camp I'd bet they trade for a known WR. The precedent has been set via Boldin and Evans.
Lets see what Caldwell can do. The Colts had a history of bringing in no name guys and making them productive: Pierre Garcon (6th round) and Austin Collie (4th round) come to mind.
Also, if you want to talk about UDFA receivers... Look at Wes Welker. Why was he an UDFA? The draft process isn't perfect. Some guys slip through the cracks.
Caldwell is one of the few reasons I am hopeful that one of these guys can turn into a bonafide starter. But how much was Caldwell and how much was Peyton?
I have to admit this group of WRs kind of reminds me of the O's pitching "cavalry" - players that just can't put it together (and in the O's case it was even worse since those guys actually were high picks).
I'm not worried. Even if we kept Boldin, there is no guarantee he would be the same guy in the playoffs. Remember he went 10 games in the regular season without a receiving TD.
But I will miss his attitude, physicality and his ability to go into beast mode. When Boldin and Joe got locked in they were almost unstoppable. In the PITT game. In the playoffs.
I think the person best capable of having that relationship with Joe is Pitta, which is why I hope the Ravens extend Pitta during the offseason.
A number of things came together to make that fantastic championship run.
Yes, the line having the best players in the right position helped give Flacco time and the opportunity to step into his throws. He was so accurate and it started showing up from the Giant game on.
What was the big change? Suddenly his receivers were open...even if sometimes it was just by a yard or two, the difference was they were open and Joe was even more accurate.
The plays that were being run by Caldwell made much of the difference.
He called plays that used each player's best talents.
Boldin, not much separation, but great at using his body to shield the defender from the ball.
Joe threw the ball perfectly to Q, over and over again, game after game...the best place for Q to catch it.
For Torrey, he laid it out there for him to run under or on the in routes, right in his chest or stomach.
For Jacoby, he threw what looked like punts, but still, right to him.
When Jacoby ran a slant, Joe hit him right in his hands but he dropped it.
It is simple. Use what you have. Use their best talent.
We now have 4 receivers that can run a 4.4 or better.
One is over 6'5". Where does Streeter catch the ball the best???
Deonte Thompson...great speed, where does he catch the ball the best?
Jacoby and Torrey.
Pitta and Dickson.
Doss and Reid.
And now all the young guys coming in, whether they are H-backs or Boldin size, whatever.
Caldwell will call the right plays for the player combinations.
Joe will find out where each player likes the ball and succeeds the most.
This offense will be fine with the receivers we have IF the Oline does their job.
That's it. I'm not worried about the skill players.
I'm only concerned with the Oline.
That makes it all go.
The one thing that made it all NOT go, has been gone since the Skins game.
If Juszczyk performs as advertised in college I think he could quickly become a bonafide receiving option and a fan favorite.
I'm content to see what shakes out in camp.
Torrey looks to be the main man of the WR crop. I don't see Jacoby Jones as a No. 2 guy, but he is what he is and we know the value he provides.
Last year Deonte Thompson had a great camp/preseason and made the team despite being a UDFA. Of course, he was too far down the depth chart to see much playing time once the season started. I'd like to see what he could do with more reps under his belt. Again, not the ideal candidate for No. 2 WR, but I see him as a potential replacement for Jacoby Jones in 2014, if nothing else.
I like the Aaron Mellette selection in Round 7. While he's no Anquan Boldin, by all accounts Mellete could develop as a possession-type guy. Maybe he'll push Tandon Doss in camp and during preseason games. From what I've seen, Doss could use a bit of pushing.
I'm not putting a lot of faith in Tommy Streeter just yet, although I know a lot of posters here love him. Guy was OK in camp last summer, but honestly looked like a beanpole to me on the field who would break in half if hit by a linebacker (although maybe this impression is accentuated by his wearing No. 11). In any case, "raw" is an understatement where Streeter is concerned.
The Ravens seem to want to give David Reed an awful lot of chances. I was a Reed supporter for a long while, but soured on him over time. However, the team must see something in him. And LQ seems to have been relegated to ST, if he is active at all.
Still, as I said in the beginning, let's see what shakes out in camp. Maybe one or two of these guys will step up. There's no need to go out and sign a vet right now. If the guys already here don't wow the coaches over the summer, a (relatively cheap) vet can always be added by Labor Day via trade or someone else's cuts.
I love Jacoby for what he did this past year but I will never trust his hands. Plus he has already failed as a #2 WR in HOU. Like you said: certain packages.
Doss is the wildcard - does he have "it" or not?
DeCosta stated in his interview that they really liked several wide receivers in the 3rd round. Going into the draft, I expected that a few WRs with 2nd round grades could fall into the 3rd and possibly even all the way down to the Ravens' pick, so I'm not surprised by that.
Markus Wheaton, Keenan Allen, Stedman Bailey, Terrance Williams... all guys the Ravens might have been interested in. We don't know specific names but we have it straight from the horse's mouth that the Ravens did not go into the draft satisfied with the WR depth chart. That means something to me.
Obviously the FO was looking to add talent at a lot of positions and there was never a chance they could have gotten everything they wanted, so we can't take TOO much from the interest in WRs, but I'm not at all willing to crown any of the young guys on the roster. If the Ravens would have added any of the guys I mentioned above I would have favored them to win at least the #3 job if not the #2 job out of camp.
I think the Ravens are happy with their depth but they're not done at the position. I strongly expect a receiver to be added either in post-cut FA or by trade. I compare it to the CB situation in 2010--the Ravens opened the offseason with only 1 truly healthy corner in Foxworth with the #2 and #3 guys (Fabian Washington and Webb) coming back from torn ACLs, with punt returner Chris Carr at #4. They didn't draft a CB and said they were happy with who they had, even after Foxworth blew out his ACL.
They traded for Josh Wilson and he proved to be a phenomenal 1-year rental. If I were Ozzie, I'd be picking up the phone to the same guy, Pete Carroll, to see if he'd make a similar deal for Golden Tate. A 5th rounder should get that trade done.
Well said. I feel the same way. Flacco can and will make his Wr's better. I personally felt after that gaint game the O was on fire. Yup that one game had me ready for the playoffs. It was a vibe that Flacco needed and wow did he play his ass off. The Oline is the only thing concerning but I due time, Ozzie will give John all the pieces he can to have a great 5 in front of his Superbowl MVP QB
Well at least Torrey seems confident in our WRs:
The Ravens emphasized before the draft that adding a wide receiver early was not a top priority.
Ozzie Newsome said it. John Harbaugh said it. Steve Bisciotti said it.
They all pointed to the young players currently on the roster, saying that the replacement to recently-departed receiver Anquan Boldin was already in Baltimore.
But several draft analysts still predicted the Ravens would target a receiver with their first few picks. A number of mock drafts had the Ravens taking a receiver with pick No. 32.
After Baltimore waited until the final round to draft a receiver – Elon’s Aaron Mellette – some fans started questioning that strategy on Twitter to the team’s top wideout Torrey Smith.
The third-year receiver assured fans that they have nothing to worry about.
“We have talent,” Smith responded on Twitter. “Just watch.”
The talent Smith is referring to are the young receivers who have been waiting for a chance to get on the field. Tandon Doss, David Reed, Deonte Thompson and LaQuan Williams have all been given limited opportunities to show what they can do. They will compete with Mellette and last year’s sixth-round pick Tommy Streeter for a spot in the rotation.
“We need to figure out if those guys can play,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. “The only way they’re going to get the opportunity to play is to get them out on the football field. And now not having Anquan, those guys will get that chance.”
The competition at receiver is mostly likely for reps behind Smith and Jacoby Jones, who was the team’s No. 3 target last season. Jones could play more of an increased role in the offense, but the Ravens also have to balance his snaps on offense with the impact he makes on special teams.
Doss appears to be the favorite in the competition, as he has the most experience after Smith and Jones. Doss split reps with Jones last season, and finished the year with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Reed, Thompson and Williams have all played limited offensive reps and have mostly been special teamers. But the Ravens like what all three can do, as Thompson and Williams made the team as undrafted free agents and Reed just signed a new two-year contract.
“Hopefully one or two of those guys are going to emerge,” Newsome said. “It would be great if all four of them did, but if two of them did, then that would help us to be able to say, ‘OK we need to sign David going forward, or we need to sign Tandon going forward.’ But if we don’t get a chance to get them on the field and tell them, ‘The job is yours to win, we’ll never get the opportunity to be able to provide for those guys to be able to play here in the future."