Baltimore Ravens: Top 3 Receivers the Birds Should Target
The Baltimore Ravens finished 11-5, second in the AFC North Division. Their season came to an end in the divisional round against the Buffalo Bills.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He also was the teams’ only 1,000-yard rusher. He and the Ravens can take the next step if they can get some solid receivers.
Baltimore’s top two receiving threats last year were Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Both players had more than 700 yards and 58 catches each. Currently on the team roster are Miles Boykin, Brown, Deon Cain, Devin Duvernay, Jaylon Moore, James Proche II, Binjimen Victor, and DeAndrew White.
Recently the team added Sammy Watkins to a one-year deal but more help is needed if the Ravens are going to make a Super Bowl. Here are the top three receivers Baltimore should go after.
Currently the top free-agent receiver on the market, Larry Fitzgerald would bring a veteran presence to a young core of receivers. He would also add a security blanket for Jackson on third-down conversions. His career resume speaks for itself and he would add a solid blocking option in the run game.
Fitzgerald, age 38, does bring a lot of question marks as well. How long do you sign him for? What if he wants to retire sooner than later? What if he gets injured? Still, the signing of Fitzgerald would usually be a low-risk, high-reward for the Ravens.
At age 30, Patterson is a high commodity not just because of his receiver skill set but for his special teams’ ability. He also was used as a backup running back for the Bears. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry and 6.3 per reception. As a receiver, he finished with 132 yards on 21 catches on 25 targets. As a return man, he accumulated 1,017 yards on 35 returns with one score, averaging 29.1 yards per return.
The Baltimore Ravens could use Patterson’s versatility as a runner and receiver without making him a major focal point. Baltimore had one of the better special teams units in the league last year and adding Patterson would only solidify another weapon.
The biggest question the Ravens would have to ask themselves is, how much are they willing to pay for his services. Other teams will be looking to add Patterson and might want to lock him up for a longer-term deal than what Baltimore offers. If they sign him, he instantly becomes a No. 2 or No.3 receiver behind Watkins.
Marquise Goodwin is a Jekyll and Hyde type of player. Signing him would be a low-risk, high reward ceiling. The 30-year-old declared as an opt-out for the 2020 season. He had a stellar 2017 season with the San Francisco 49ers catching 56 balls for 962 yards and two scores.
In his next two seasons with the 49ers, he complied 605 yards from scrimmage and five scores in 20 games.
Goodwin also has experience as a special team player and could be used if needed. He is listed at 5-9, 180 pounds. He is a player who would help Jackson in broken play situations. Presumably, with Watkins and the team’s other targets locked up in man coverage, Goodwin could provide a solid presence in the slot.
2021 NFL DRAFT
The Baltimore Ravens can always draft a receiver and this year’s class seems to be full of playmakers. According to several scouting services, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle is the best deep threat. Heisman winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama is said to be the best route-runner in this year’s class. LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is touted as the best-contested pass catcher. Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman is listed as the best releases. Florida’s Kadarius Toney would be a great fit and considered to be the best receiver after catch. University of Alabama-Birmingham’s Austin Watkins is said to have the best hands. Any number of these receivers would prove a solid option for the Ravens.
Don’t agree with Michael’s ideas on whom Baltimore should pick up? Let us know.
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