In the past few years the Ravens have seemed to been missing a small puzzle piece that has seemed to keep them from getting further in the playoffs. This offseason, it seems that the target to try and fill this opening is a dynamic No. 1 type of receiver.
There are plenty of great receivers that are entering this years draft. Now, the question is, which ones will still be available when it's the Ravens' turn at pick 25. Two months ago, some people may had thought that each of the playmakers would already be taken, but several outstanding combine performances may change peoples' minds.
The Raven's have not drafted a wide receiver in the 1st round since drafting Mark Clayton back in 2005. They also did not even draft a receiver in 2009 at all. But that may change this upcoming draft day.
Since the end of the college football season, wideouts such as Dez Bryant out of Oklahoma State, Arrelious Benn out of Illinois, and Damian Williams out of USC have risen to the top of draft boards. But, because of breakout performances in the combine, receivers such as Golden Tate out of Notre Dame have now been recognized.
Tate ran a very impressive 4.36 unofficial 40 yard dash. He also had 17 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press and got a 10" broad jump. Tate might just be the ideal fit for the young Raven's offense. Also, with the addition of Donte Stallworth, that would give the Ravens several good and experienced receivers in Stallworth, Clayton, Mason, Washington, and possibly Tate.
Golden Tate was not the only receiver to raise his stock in the draft. Jacoby Ford out of Clemson got in the mix by running an extremely fast 4.28 official 40 yard dash time which was the fastest in the draft. Which is also the second fastest official 40 time of all time behind the Ravens' own CB Fabian Washington. Ford also ran an 11.58 official 60 yard shuttle.
If it all works out and Golden Tate is still available when the Ravens come around at that 25th pick. I believe that Tate will be a wonderful and smart choice for Harbaugh and an excellent target for third-year starter Joe Flacco. It will also take much pressure off of TE Todd Heap. Most importantly, it will open up the offense and make Ray Rice even more deadly than he already is.