Who would have guessed that a position group with so many questions could actually be in consideration with teams like the Houston Texans? SB Nation apparently thought so and that's alright with us.
As part of their continuing look at position groups, SB Nation took a look at wide receivers today... And they actually considered the Baltimore Ravens for the "contenders" area. At first that seems rather confusing given that there were reports today of receivers dropping balls like they were playing a bad game of hot potato. However when you look at the Ravens receiving corps, you can start to understand why they were in consideration.
First off, we have to start with Torrey Smith. While not an elite receiver by any means, he does have the speed to stretch the field and did so in 2013 with great regularity. Smith ended the season with 65 receptions for 1128 yards and one of the highest averages per catch in the league. With the offense changing, it isn't a hard reach to think that Smith might surpass last season's totals as he gets more used to the rest of the route tree and Flacco gets more time to throw him the ball behind a revamped offensive line.
Secondly we look at second year player Marlon Brown. Brown went undrafted in the 2012 NFL draft in part due to tearing his ACL at the end of his college career. But boy did teams pay for ignoring him as he hauled in 49 receptions for 524 yards and an amazing 7 touchdowns in his rookie campaign. Brown will have to fight new addition Steve Smith this season for receptions, but could easily be a breakout player for the Ravens as he gets more comfortable with the pace of the game and gets gelled to quarterback Joe Flacco.
Speaking of Steve Smith, we can't forget to mention the feisty veteran that the Ravens picked up from Carolina this offseason. He's already starting fights in camp and pushing out quotes like the Steve Smith that everyone knows. If he can perform on the field even close to the Smith of old, the Ravens will be quite happy with the production from the 35 year old receiver.
After the initial three receivers, the Ravens have a bit of a mess behind that with players like Jacoby Jones, Michael Campanaro, LaQuan Williams and sleeper pick Jeremy Butler that will likely see a few catches throughout the season as needed due to injury or a unique scheme/playcall.
While the list of Ravens pass catchers don't include names like Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant or Calvin Johnson, the Ravens will have quite the formidable team on the field in 2014. The ball bouncing the right way and everyone firing on all cylinders could see the Ravens not just in consideration next year, but actually on the list in a big way.