The Fight For Number Two

Andy Lyons

Who will win the battle for the Ravens second receiver position?

There are several young receivers vying for the second/third wide receiver position now that the team has parted ways with long time veteran Anquan Boldin. Baltimore will have Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones lining up wide for sure but there is still room for another receiver to get some real game time action. That being said, Jones is no lock for the number two slot either. Jacoby spent time in Houston as the number two target to All World receiver Andrea Johnson for years but never quite lived up to the hype. When he came to Baltimore and was slotted as the third option toBoldin and Smith however, he flourished.

It could be that he was more successful against the opposing teams nickle or dime corner or it could be the fact that the Ravens simply used him as a down field threat, a position his skill set is made for. No matter the case, Jones played well in this role. Is he able to step his game up to the next level?

The three big challengers to crack the starting lineup at this point seem to be Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson and David Reed.

Doss supposedly is the leader in the "hands" department and has been reported to have been making circus catches during OTA's this year. You could see the Ravens attempting to work him into the offense towards the end of last season but he was unimprtessive to say the least in the chances he got. Still, the coaches and most importantly Joe Flacco seem to have real confidence in him.

Deonte Thompson is the definition of a speedster. The guy can flat out fly and he has proven so in camp this year and last. Thompson has routinely burned the Ravens defense in practice and has shown the ability to do it in early season scrimmages as well. The only problem here is that the Ravens already have two burners in Jones and Smith. What they really need is a "hands guy" that can move the chains.

Reed is somewhat of a mystery at this point. At times he has been lights out on special teams and shows rare speed and elusiveness that cannot be taught. He has never translated these skills into an NFL game but the coaches see something in him that keeps him in the conversation year in and year out in the receiver conversation.

Beyond these players the Ravens have Tommy Streeter, La'Quan Williams and Rookie Aaron Mellette who each have an outside chance to crack the roster. Streeter has the best size/speed combo of the group while Williams special teams presence could assure him a roster spot if all things were equal. Aaron Mellette on the other hand is an intriguing size/hands combination that inexplicably dropped in the draft. The Ravens nabbed him and he could end up making some real noise as his skill set is similar to Boldin's. Mellette is big and has that natural box out ability you look for in guys that can light up the middle of the field.

There is always the possibility that the ravens make a trade or bring in a veteran that has been cut from another team but for now these are the guys competing for offensive playing time. I wish you all the best!!

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