Ever since Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was drafted in 2008 he has had a safety valve receiver. Someone who he knew he could get the ball to when they needed a third and short or the game was on the line and he had to go to someone he knew could get open and would catch the ball.
In Flacco's first few seasons it was wide receiver Derrick Mason who held that privilege. Mason was the master of the comeback route and he could always find a way to get open when need be. Then the Ravens brought in another highly productive possession receiver in Anquan Boldin. Boldin quickly became Joe's go to guy and proved in the 2012 post season that he could still dominate opposing teams defensive backs once the Ravens started to use him correctly.
The trio of Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Anquan Boldin was a perfect receiving core. Flacco had two burners on the outside with big play ability and a sure handed tough guy in Boldin to play the slot and own the middle of the field. Now, the Ravens have traded Boldin to the 49ers and Joe is left with Smith, Jones and a group of unproven players to compete for the slot position, which is very important on this team.
Most of the responsibility will fall on young Torrey Smith who has grown into a very well rounded receiver during his time with the Ravens. In his rookie year Smith was looked at as more of solely a deep threat with big play ability. However, over the past two years he has shown the ability to go over the middle and run an assortment of complicated routes. He has also shown that he has the ability to meet the ball at it's highest point and can fight for the ball in the air. Is Smith ready to be the number one for the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens though? One way or another we will find out. The Ravens must seriously consider bringing in someone to help Torrey as the number two or slot receiver. Jones is good as a second big play option but he isn't a guy you can count on to consistently move the chains during a long sustained drive and that is what this team needs now.