Can Jacoby Jones Step Up in 2013?

USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco is still in search of a go-to #2 receiver. Torrey Smith will be the unanimous #1, which leaves Jacoby Jones with a prime opportunity to perform at his best this coming season.

I published an article a few weeks back regarding the Ravens' wide receiver situation. In that article I hinted at Jones' forthcoming role as a focal member of the Ravens offense. I also speculated adding a second tight-end, as that is becoming an increasingly successful and dangerous trend among NFL teams today; or trying Dennis Pitta at wide-out, which seems rather unlikely at this point.

Jacoby Jones has the #2 job if he wants it, but he must prove he wants it. Jones is Baltimore's most experienced receiver: he has been in the league for 7 years, compared to Smith's 3 years of experience. He excelled as our kick returner last year, and impressed the world with his 11-second, 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in last year's super bowl. These are all reasons to believe Jones is our #2 guy. He's fast and can read opponents' moves well before a play develops. His intuition is remarkable, something that only comes with playing in the pros for as long as he has.

Flacco targeted Jones 54 times last year, helping him earn 406 yards and a touchdown. In the playoffs he came up big when we really needed him to and had 5 catches for 147 yards, and scored two touchdowns during that run.

I've always thought Jones was underrated as a receiver. At 28 years old he is at the prime of his career, ready to make his mark and unleash the beast I know is inside of him. I look forward to seeing Jones' determination to make his skill and athleticism fully realized this coming season. Once he perfects the use of his hands for catching the football, Jones will be on every opposing defense's radar.

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