The Baltimore Ravens are holding a closed door, private tryout for four wide receivers this Friday at their Owings Mills Training Complex. Reportedly, there are four receivers attending the session, but only two names have been released to the public so far. Both D.J. Hackett and Drew Bennett are veteran receivers, but are they the guy that the Ravens need to either fill the void left by the alleged retirement of Derrick Mason, or even as another body for additional depth at the position?
Let's take a look at their stats in comparison over the past few years:
D.J. Hackett: Age: 28; 6'2", 208 lbs.; Experience-6th season
Year Team Rec. Yards Avg. TD's
2008 Carolina 13 181 13.9 0
2007 Seattle 32 384 12.0 3
2006 Seattle 45 610 13.6 4
Hackett's rookie year was 2004, but he didn't get in a game. The 2006 season was his best year, but while that type of production might be an upgrade for a number 3 or 4 wideout, it is certainly nothing to warrant a better move than what we already have in camp.
Drew Bennett: Age: 30; 6'5", 196 lbs.; Experience-9th season
Year Team Rec. Yards Avg. TD's
2008 St. Louis 1 4 4.0 0
2007 St. Louis 33 375 11.4 3
2006 Tennessee 46 737 16.0 3
Bennett's best year was in 2004, when he played all 16 games and was QB Steve McNair'sfavorite target, catching 80 passes for 1,247 yards, a 15.6 average with eleven TD's. However, he's dropped off significantly every year since then and was injured and missed most of last season, leaving me to wonder that at age 30, is he durable enough to make a difference?
The bottom line to me is that neither of these guys poses enough of an upgrade to warrant their addition to this roster. If Mason does indeed retire, then Mark Clayton would move to the number one slot and one of these guys figures to be the second option for QB Joe Flacco. That pushes guys like Demetrius Williams and Marcus Smith, who figure to get the most reps (without either or Bennett on the team) down on the depth chart and unnecessarily retards their growth and any legitimate opportunity to show the coaches (and fans) whether they have what it takes to be worthy of starting in the NFL. This would be a mistake, in my opinion, and the only way I'd support that philosophy was if they went out and got a true number one via the trade and we all know that's just not happening. Besides, as we've debated here on The Beatdown so often, the aquisition of an Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall would surely signal the future departure of a Jared Gaither or Haloti Ngata, based on the salary requirements it would require to keep them all as Baltimore Ravens.
Over the next day or so, we'll find out the other players being brought in to make enough of an impression on the coaching staff to sign a contract. However, don't expect any major names to appear at The Castle anytime soon, and more than likely the team will turn its eye on what they already have, with a glance to keep abreast of what other teams are releasing once roster trimming begins next month prior to the regular season.