Miles Boykin

Miles Boykin On Ravens’ Roster Bubble

The Ravens spent the offseason trying to upgrade at wide receiver, having made both JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton their respective best offers in free agency. They ended up with Sammy Watkins and then drafted Rashod Bateman in the first round.

These moves, and Baltimore’s fourth-round selection of Tylan Wallace, crowd a once-thin receiver room. In addition to the Watkins-Bateman-Marquise Brown top trio and Wallace, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes 2020 third-rounder Devin Duvernay‘s roster spot is secure (subscription required). Miles Boykin, however, does not appear to be on as firm footing as training camp nears.

Baltimore drafted Boykin in the 2019 third round, bringing the Notre Dame product into the fold after selecting Brown in that year’s first round. While Lamar Jackson‘s rapport with his wide receivers has been inconsistent since he took the reins, the Ravens have not received too much from Boykin in his two-year run. The 6-foot-4 target has amassed just 32 receptions for 464 receiving yards in 32 games (24 starts).

The Ravens’ No. 2 wideout spot has resided below Brown, Mark Andrews and a multifaceted run game in this offense’s pecking order, but the franchise’s moves this offseason indicate it wants more from the position. It will lead to a Boykin role reduction, if he is to make the team.

Boykin and 2020 sixth-rounder James Proche may be battling for one spot, Zrebiec adds. Boykin saw more special teams time than the SMU product as well last season, with the former playing just 14% of Baltimore’s ST snaps compared to Boykin’s 32%. Unless the NFL’s run-heaviest team plans to keep seven wideouts, the two will vie for the final receiver spot on the 53-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Activate Marquise Brown From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Half the Ravens’ receiving corps missed practice this week, but the team will have its full crew of wideouts available against the Jaguars on Sunday.

The Ravens activated Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and James Proche from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. None of the three tested positive for the coronavirus, but each were high-risk close contacts and were forced to isolate for five days.

This marks more good news for a Ravens team set to play on Sunday for the first time in three weeks. Virus issues led to the Ravens playing Wednesday and Tuesday games in Weeks 12 and 13, respectively, prior to their action-packed triumph in Cleveland on Monday.

Brown has set a new career high in receiving yards (605) this season, but the second-year wideout and Lamar Jackson have struggled to stay on the same page. Drops have also been an issue for Baltimore’s top receiver. Still, Brown has managed to score touchdowns in each of the Ravens’ past three games. He will be a key part of the team’s final push for a playoff spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

  • Placed on IR: S Saquan Hamilton

Philadelphia Eagles

Ravens Sign Miles Boykin

The Ravens’ rookies report for training camp on Wednesday and Miles Boykin will be among those in attendance. Per a club announcement, the Ravens have signed the third-round wide receiver to his rookie deal, putting a bow on their 2019 draft class. 

Boykin was dealing with a hamstring strain earlier this summer, but the hope is that he’ll be healed up for camp. The 6’4″ Notre Dame product offers tremendous size and and athleticism for the position and big things could be in store for him as one of Lamar Jackson‘s targets. Last year, Boykin set new collegiate career highs with 59 catches for 872 yards and eight touchdowns.

Here’s the full recap of the Ravens’ draft class, via PFR’s tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: CBA, Jets GM Search, Wilkerson, Ravens

Fears of a potential future lockout picked up again earlier this week, when we learned the NFLPA was telling agents to advise their clients to save money in the event of a work stoppage in 2021, when the current CBA expired. Turns out, things might not be so dire after all. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote about that leak, as well as the recent rumors the league would push for an 18-game regular season, and he thinks it’s all performative. La Canfora writes that both sides have to publicly posture, and that “no one wants to give off the air they are rolling over too much.”

La Canfora hears that preliminary negotiations are actually going very well, noting that the NFL and NFLPA “seem more aligned than anytime in recent memory.” In regards to an 18-game schedule or work stoppage, he says he’s “yet to speak to anyone on either side who envisioned either of these scenarios actually playing out.” One source told La Canfora that “everyone involved in this process feels really good about the negotiations.” Interestingly, La Canfora predicts that an “extra playoff game will be added to each conference,” and roster sizes will be expanded when it’s all said and done.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Jets’ general manager search continues to barrel on, but a resolution seems increasingly near. Eagles exec Joe Douglas has been viewed as the favorite for a while now, and La Canfora goes even further. In the same piece, La Canfora writes that “sources said there was already some contact between those parties prior to Douglas’ scheduled formal interview, and people in other front offices would be shocked if he does not take this job.” He adds that Douglas “will be the team’s next general manager barring some unforeseen breakdown between the sides.” La Canfora also scoops that if things do unexpectedly go sideways in the negotiations, “then Chicago exec Champ Kelly, who also has a prior relationship with Adam Gase, is viewed as the next in line.”
  • We found out earlier tonight that free agent Muhammad Wilkerson had been arrested and charged with DWI, and now we have more details. Wilkerson admitted to drinking, telling officers he “had one shot and two beers,” per Rebecca Rosenberg and Larry Celona of the New York Post. Wilkerson had some tough luck, as he was just barely over the legal limit. Wilkerson apparently had a BAC of .09, only slightly above the legal limit of .08. It’s unclear if that will help with his potential discipline from the league, but it could potentially earn him some leniency.
  • We have an update on the Ravens’ two rookie wide receivers, courtesy of Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). First round pick Marquise Brown is still recovering from his Lisfranc foot surgery, and “training camp remains the hope for his return.” Initially the hope was minicamp back in March, but that turned out not to be the case. Meanwhile the Ravens’ third round pick, Miles Boykin, is dealing with a hamstring strain, and Zrebiec writes he “should be getting closer to return.” Boykin and Brown are the only two of the Ravens’ draft picks not to sign yet, although that’s likely not related to their respective injuries. Still, it’s not great that they’re having to miss significant portions of their first offseason.