The Ravens have frequently been mentioned as one of the teams most in need of an addition at the receiver position this offseason. That has included the team being identified as a landing spot for one of the veterans still on the free agent market.
Such speculation is unsurprising, given the current state of the team’s WR room. Four wideouts can comfortably be slotted in on the 53-man roster, led by 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman. He, like Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace, however, lacks NFL experience and a track record of success in the pros. Especially in the absence of Marquise Brown, an addition of some kind has been widely expected since the draft.
Outside of free agency, trades represent another avenue by which the Ravens could an established pass-catcher. On that point, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic opines that it is all-but guaranteed general manager Eric DeCosta has “spoken to teams about acquiring a receiver” (subscription required). A blockbuster deal such as the one involving Brown is unlikely, though, given the team’s sparse salary cap space and run-heavy offense.
Assuming a sizeable move isn’t made in the coming weeks, Zrebiec names Proche as the incumbent wideout best-positioned to see an increased workload. While Bateman is in line to take on the role of No. 1 receiver, and All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews will see a healthy target share, the 2020 sixth-rounder could be in line for a starting spot. He has totalled just 17 receptions to date, but put up substantial production during his college career at SMU.
Given his track record in player swaps (from Brown most recently, to Orlando Brown Jr. last offseason), DeCosta making a trade for another wideout would come as little surprise at this point. Even if that happens, however, the position will remain one to watch throughout training camp and into the start of the season.