Sunday Roundup: Smith, Broyles, Johnson

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith entered the league out of the University of Maryland with high upside and explosive play-making ability, but he was still very raw. He struggled with drops in training camp prior to his rookie season in 2011, but he was given a chance to start against the Rams in Week 3 of that year when Lee Evans went down with an injury. In the first quarter in St. Louis, Smith recorded the first three receptions of his pro career; they all went for touchdowns.

Since then, even if Smith has not been the team’s No. 1 wideout by name, he has been the receiving threat that has garnered the most attention from opposing defenses. He has quietly become one of the premier deep threats in the game, but, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out, he enters his contract season with very little fanfare. The Ravens would like to extend his contract, but no progress has been made on that front as of yet. Although new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak does not run a pure West Coast offense–which means that Joe Flacco will still have a chance to take a few deep shots per game to burners like Smith and Jacoby Jones–Smith must become a more reliable short and intermediate route runner in order to thrive and earn a contract on par with some of the better receivers in the league. As Florio notes, Smith has every reason to emerge as one of the better wideouts in the game in 2014, and, given his work ethic and the strides he has made thus far, it would be foolish to bet against him.

Now for some more notes from around the league:

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