Ravens Thinking Receiver in the First?

Jeff Gross

Two Pac 12 wide receivers could be great pick ups for the Ravens at the end of the first round.

Anquan Boldin’s exit from the Baltimore Ravens is one that still shows up on the talk shows. Torrey Smith certainly exceeded expectations in his first year and then progressed even more in year two. He will certainly be carrying the burden of being the number one receiver. With that being said, I still think the Ravens need to bolster their receiving core and replace “Q”. A couple of pass catchers from the Pac 12 could be interesting options for the Ravens at the end of the first round.

Keenan Allen is a 6’ 2” – 206lb WR out of California. Allen has good size for the position. He provided the Golden Bears with a reliable deep threat this year, but is also not afraid of contact. He was able to catch the ball over the middle and get considerable chunks of yardage after the catch. CBSSports.com compares him to Jordy Nelson. He is a player that will not blow you away with his speed, but has enough to make plays. Allen had six touchdowns in only nine games. The downside to Allen is he missed the last three games in 2012. Knee and hamstring injuries are a concern. He was not able to participate much in Cal’s Pro Day, but is hoping to impress scouts in his April 9th workout in Greensboro.

Robert Woods has been in the national spotlight the entire season. He was seen as Heisman Trophy favorite Matt Barkley’s number one target for the preseason #1 USC Trojans. Needless to say, things did not work out for the maroon and gold in that manner. Barkley got hurt and USC ended the season with a whimper. However, at 6’ 1” – 190lbs, Woods has enough size to play at the next level. Many had him slated as a second to third round pick, but his Pro Day shot him up the boards. Many were there to see Barkley, but Woods certainly impressed. He had double digit touchdowns in his last two seasons in Los Angeles and over 1,200 yards in 2011.

It remains to be seen if the Ravens can even get either of these guys. As free agency has shaken out, it seems that more teams are in the market for a receiver in the early rounds. The Minnesota Vikings certainly need someone and they pick twice before the Ravens. The Ravens have fortified their defensive line and signed a replacement for Ed Reed, which certainly gives Ozzie Newsome a bit more flexibility in this position.

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