Baltimore Ravens: Why the Team Must Keep Deonte Thompson

Kyle CaseyCorrespondent IIIAugust 13, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 9: Deonte Thompson #83 of the Baltimore Ravens goes up for a pass against Robert McClain #27 of the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 9, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

After a standout performance in Thursday's preseason opener, undrafted rookie wide receiver Deonte Thompson is in the perfect position to make the Baltimore Ravens final roster.

Thompson led the Ravens in receiving against the Atlanta Falcons, catching three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. Working with mostly the second-team players, Thompson proved to be the fastest player on the field on almost every play.

While Thompson's performance so far in camp has certainly made him worthy of a roster spot, do the Ravens have room for him?

The team will likely keep six wide receivers on the final 53-man roster. Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are all locks for the roster, which leaves three more roster spots at receiver. 

Second-year receivers Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams appear to be in position to make the roster as well, which leaves one open spot. Battling for the spot is Thompson and fellow rookie wide receiver Tommy Streeter.

Streeter has lived up to the label of being a "raw" player so far in training camp, as he is still working on route-running and is struggling with drops.

At 6'5", Streeter is an intriguing big-bodied receiver that the Ravens could use in red-zone situations. However, if the team keeps Streeter, it's unlikely he'll be ready to suit up for games right away.

Thompson, however, seems to be fully ready to contribute in the regular season. He has not had many problems catching the ball so far in training camp and his route-running appears to be polished enough to play in a regular season game.

To add to Thompson's skills at receiver, he is much more capable to contribute on special teams than Streeter. Thomspon is more valuable on special teams than Streeter, as he can contribute on kick returns. 

Any time a player can contribute on special teams, his chances to make the final roster become much higher.

If the Ravens want to go with potential, they'll likely keep Streeter. But if the team wants an impact player who can help the team not only this year but in the future as well, Thompson is the guy.