Last year it looked like the Ravens had one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. This year the departure of TJ Houshmandzadeh, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth has left a lot of question marks in the Ravens passing game.
Anquan Boldin is a very good wide receiver, but will be 31 in October. There is no doubt that Boldin fell off at the tail end of last season, often times becoming invisible as he was unable to separate from opposing corner backs. Boldin will no doubt be Flacco’s go-to-receiver, but how he holds up over the course of the year with a tough coach will determine his value.
The recent addition of Lee Evans looks great for the Ravens, on paper. We're not buying it, however, and think the Ravens oversold on Evans by trading away a fourth round pick next year. Evans will likely have the same role on this offense as he failed to live up to in Buffalo. At 30 years old and without a productive season under his belt, we think Evans will look a lot like Stallworth from a year ago.
There are definitely reasons to be excited with the receiving corps if you are a Ravens fan, however. Despite just about every free agent wide receiver making a stop in to Baltimore, the Ravens haven’t been all that impressed. They haven’t been willing to shell out the big bucks because they think they have their future in the position wrapped up with rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss.
Torrey Smith is expected to start opposite of Boldin, and will be asked to use his speed to stretch the field. So far in training camp, Smith has really impressed with his speed and has been hard to stop. He also has displayed very good hands while making some acrobatic catches over defenders—Ravens defenders.
Tandon Doss was selected in the fourth round, but many believe that had he not just come off of two surgeries to repair torn groin muscles, Doss would’ve been selected much higher. Doss is more of a possession receiver in the mold of Anquan Boldin and was drafted by the team per the request of Joe Flacco.
Torrey Smith looks to have the greatest impact of the two rookie receivers, but don’t forget about Doss. This year, however, no Raven receiver should make a big splash as the team will no doubt focus on the run. Boldin, at best, is a WR2 and the two inspiring rooks should sit on your bench all year if you draft them. In a deep league or dynasty league however, both rookies are great picks if you don’t mind waiting a year or two for them to break out.