With the Ravens at 1-5, and not producing enough big plays, this is a good time to look back at their recent drafts. It’s clear their last five draft classes haven’t produced enough playmakers.
The two most productive weapons for quarterback Joe Flacco are wide receiver Steve Smith and running back Justin Forsett. Two excellent veteran additions, who were both signed as free agents. But where’s the youth, with Smith planning to retire, and Forsett already 30 years old?
The Steelers have stockpiled young, explosive offensive playmakers via the draft, including running back Le’Veon Bell, and wide receivers Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Markus Wheaton. The Bengals have done the same, with wide receivers A. J. Green, Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu, running backs Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill, and tight end Tyler Eifert.
Here’s a look at the wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends the Ravens have drafted over the last five years.
- Torrey Smith, first round, WR
Helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl and produced 30 touchdowns in four years. However, he signed with the 49ers during the offseason, and helped beat the Ravens with a 76-yard touchdown Sunday.
- Tandon Doss, fourth round, WR
Didn’t pan out, currently a free agent
- Anthony Allen, seventh round, RB
Plays for Saskatchewan Roughriders in CFL.
- Bernard Pierce, third round, RB
After a promising rookie season, fizzled out and was cut after a DUI arrest. Now with the Jaguars, Pierce is relegated to special teams.
- Tommy Streeter, sixth round, WR
Didn’t pan out, free agent.
- Aaron Mallette, seventh round, WR
Didn’t pan out, free agent.
- Crockett Gillmore, third round, TE
He’s the starter, an excellent blocker and blossoming receiver.
- Lorenzo Taliaferro, fourth round, RB
Season cut short for second straight year with foot injury.
- Michael Campanaro, seventh round, WR
Also out for season, has made plays, but has struggled to stay healthy.
- Breshad Perriman, first round, WR
Has not played a snap due to foot injury, leaving the Ravens without a deep threat they could use desperately.
- Maxx Williams, second round, TE
Has 12 catches for 108 yards as backup tight end. Excellent hands, only 21 years old, should have bright future.
- Buck Allen, fourth round, RB
Forsett’s backup, Allen is averaging 4.6 yards per carry on 30 attempts. He has promise, but too early to tell where career will take him.
- Nick Boyle, fifth round, TE
Plays with poise, already has eight catches for 58 yards. Ravens have young tight end depth, regardless of whether Dennis Pitta returns from hip injury.
- Darren Waller, seventh round, WR
At 6-6, size and talent is intriguing. But he’s still raw and currently working way back from concussion.
Perhaps Perrriman, the young tight ends, Allen, and Waller will all be part of a brighter future. But right now, the Ravens are 1-5. Neither the Bengals (6-0), nor Steelers (4-2) would trade playmakers with the Ravens. They also wouldn’t trade places with the Ravens in the AFC North standings.
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