The obvious benefit of the Baltimore Ravens trading a 2012 4th round draft pick for veteran WR Lee Evans is that he can stretch the field and catch the deep ball from QB Joe Flacco. Most Ravens fans can remember how badly he burned the Baltimore secondary last season, catching six passes for 105 yards and three scores in what ended up being a gut-wrenching Ravens 37-34 OT victory.
However, beyond the obvious benefit of adding a veteran deep threat to the receiving corp, there are a multitude of reasons that this acquisition brings to the team. The foremost id the lessening of absolute pressure on Anquan Boldin to carry the weight of the vertical attack on his shoulders. Without that other key receiver on the field, the opposing defense can roll coverage towards Boldin every time he lines up, almost effectively taking him out of the gameplan.
Flacco would have to rely on his unproven tight ends and rookie wideouts in order to move the ball downfield in the passing game, or jump continue to dump it off to RB Ray Rice. Even worse, he might try to force it into Boldin when he is not open, leading to turnovers that will only frustrate the team, it's fans and slow the progress of the 4th year quarterback.
Evans presence takes the pressure off of the rookies, namely Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss, allowing them to come in on three and four-receiver sets, and now will see them covered by the opposition's nickel or dime backs, a much more favorable match-up. Those two 2nd year tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, will see more open field in the middle and get the chance to outrun the slower linebackers trying to cover them. If opponents put a safety on the tight ends, that means less to cover both Boldin and Evans on the outside.
The domino effect of such a great signing is now obvious when you look at the ripple effect his presence in the passing attack will have to not only stretch but spread the field, adding a benefit to even the run game as another result. Gone will be the days of stacking the box to stop the run and dare Flacco to beat you through the air If this is the other team's gameplan, it will be a long day and Joe will make them pay.
Not forgotten in all this is the fact that Evans will finally have a chance to play for a winning team, get to the post-season and, gasp, dare we say it? Welcome to Baltimore, Lee Evans.