Rostered wide receivers: Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Willie Snead IV, Antoine Wesley, Chris Moore, De’Anthony Thomas, Jaleel Scott, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Jaylon Moore, Michael Dereus.
With the exception of the interior offensive line, there’s not a position more up for grabs on the Ravens’ roster than wide receiver.
Not only are the starters not set in stone, there’s much to be decided on the back half of the depth chart as well.
Of the top five targeted Ravens receivers last season, just two (Marquise Brown and Willie Snead IV) were wide receivers. The other three were the team’s trio of tight ends. This year, that could be vastly different.
The Ravens traded Hayden Hurst to the Falcons in the offseason, and as they’re looking to create a more balanced offense, there’s an opportunity to be had for the team’s second wide receiver and third option in the passing game.
Who that could be, however, is up in the air.
With Brown, who had 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns last season, now totally healthy, he’s expected to take a step forward in his second season in the NFL. He’s the team’s top wideout entering training camp.
The second spot on the depth chart could belong to a handful of players, but perhaps the most popular pick is Miles Boykin.
The 93rd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Boykin had a standout offseason last year for the Ravens and impressed in training camp -- but despite the expectations, he made just 13 catches for 198 yards in his 16-game rookie season.
With a year under his belt now, both he and the Ravens front office are expecting a step forward in his second season.
From there, the wide receivers are essentially thrown into a blender.
Last year, the Ravens lined up in ‘11’ personnel 47 percent of the time, according to SharpFootballStats.com, meaning they had three receivers on the field for nearly half of their total offensive plays. Without Hurst, that number could rise in 2020.
Next up could be rookie receiver Devin Duvernay, the 92nd pick in this year’s draft. At 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, he played the slot receiver position at Texas and boasted some of the best hands in the nation. He tallied 1,386 receiving yards and ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, enough for the Ravens to pick him in the third round.
If the Ravens were to line up with a trio of Brown, Boykin and Duvernay on the field in 11 personnel, they’d have one of, if not the fastest offense in the NFL. While Brown didn’t run at the NFL Combine in 2019, he believes he would’ve broken the 40-yard dash record of 4.22 seconds.
Seemingly a dark horse at the position, Snead has flown under the radar this offseason simply because of the team’s new additions and expected increases in production from young players. But Snead, who was third on the team in targets (46) and tied for third on the team in catches (31) a season ago, has not only a willingness to block downfield, he’s also got a knowledge of the offensive system -- a luxury not given to Duvernay or fellow rookie James Proche.
In an incredibly limited offseason, and with perhaps a shortened training camp on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic, Snead might be able to seize the team’s second or third receiver role simply because of his veteran presence on the field.
Proche, another sure-handed wideout, was a sixth-round pick out of SMU in this year's draft. While he doesn't project to be a starter immediately in the Ravens' offense, he could make an impact early in his career on special teams as a returner.
Last year, the Ravens kept six receivers on their initial 53-man roster before they added return specialist De’Anthony Thomas later in the season. They mostly only used four receivers on offense down the stretch, though.
Jaleel Scott was inactive for a majority of the season and Chris Moore and Thomas were nearly exclusively special teams players for the back-half of 2019. All three are on the roster entering 2020.
Moore, who recently had his special teams ability praised by coach John Harbaugh, appears to be a lock for the roster in 2020.
In fact, Brown, Boykin, Duvernay, Proche, Snead and Moore figure to be the team’s top six receivers before training camp begins. The Ravens only lost Seth Roberts in free agency at the wide receiver position, meaning there aren’t many longshots that could make the roster with such little turnover.
Unless Thomas or Scott shines to the point where the Ravens can’t afford to let them go, the wide receiver position -- in terms of who makes the final roster -- isn’t as contested as it might seem.
From there, though, it’s a wide open competition.
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