Ravens Rookie Wide Receivers Need To Step Up Sunday

Terrapin Teammates Torrey Smith (#82) & LaQuan Williams (#15)

With the status of veteran wide receiver Lee Evans up in the air for Sunday's game at the St. Louis Rams, it looks like the Baltimore Ravens' rookie draft picks and perhaps one undrafted free agent might have a chance to prove they deserve to be on the field against the St. Louis Rams. Evans foot is still obviously affecting his mobility and there is a good chance the team will rest him for this game, which should open a spot for someone else to shine opposite Anquan Boldin.

The Ravens drafted Maryland WR Torrey Smith in the second round for his ability to stretch the field and make big plays for the offense. In the fourth round, they took QB Joe Flacco's personal recommendation and selected Indiana WR Tandon Doss, who runs great patterns and has solid hands. Once the undrafted rookie free agents could be signed, the Ravens signed Torrey Smith's Terrapin teammate, WR LaQuan Williams, who impressed the coaches so much with his hustle, determination and play that he made the 53-man roster and has been active for both games so far in 2011.

Not only could Evans miss this game, but WR/KR David Reed has already been ruled out for an injured shoulder, meaning the kickoff returner job is up for grabs. Both Smith and Williams have practiced at that position so one of them appear to be the best bet to return kicks.

While Smith and Doss look to vie for that starting spot with Boldin, the other could expect to see significant playing time on three-receiver sets, although it could also open more reps for tight end Dennis Pitta alongside starter Ed Dickson. While Smith was the higher draft choice and has been active for both games, Doss is thought to be ahead of Smith in terms of grasping the playbook.

However, there is no question the Ravens want Torrey to earn that spot as he is the more dangerous receiver once he gets the ball in his hands, be it on the fly route, slant or WR screen. His speed was the main reason the Ravens selected him just like Doss' hands were the main reason he was drafted. Expect both players to be active Sunday, as well as LaQuan Williams, who is the best of the trio on Special Teams. The one player who impresses the coaches the most might be the one we see more frequently the rest of the way in the 2011 season.

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