The Ravens are adding in wide receiver Chuck Jacobs as reported earlier. With the young kid having very little information about him and certainly no name recognition, it's time to take a look at what we do know about him as a receiver and returner.
Baltimore Beatdown's sister site, Niner's Nation, had the best look on Jacobs as he was on their roster since coming into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Utah State in 2013. First up is the fact that Jacobs had suffered a torn ACL in the first preseason game of the 2014 season, ending his season before it ever began. With Jacobs coming back at full strength this season, he had his greatest and ultimately last chance at being a 49er.
The 49ers might not have the greatest offense this season and some of that can be attributed to the play of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has since been benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. Clearly, we can't completely judge the level of competition at the wide receiver position for the 49ers to see exactly what type of player Jacobs is. At the top of their roster are the former Ravens Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, so fans know what the Niners have there. Below them is Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, and Jerome Simpson.
Patton has been with the Niners since he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft and has had no success, but is on pace for 328 yards on 28 receptions in 2015.
Ellington was drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft and much like Patton, has had no success thus far. He projects out to 104 yards on 12 receptions.
Jerome Simpson is the most accomplished receiver out of the bunch under the top-2 for San Francisco. His stats have been inconsistent, but he has shown an ability to put up around 700 yards in a season if healthy. Sadly for San Francisco, he has only 3 receptions for 34 yards so far.
Jacobs' scouting report coming out of Utah State has a number of positives, mainly that he is an athletic receiver that plays with passion and has can find himself open. The biggest negative on him is that he is really a one-speed wide receiver that, despite his 40 time, lacks a deep burst. At 6-foot tall and 178-pounds, Jacobs could find himself as a return specialist or a slot receiver for the Ravens.
During the game against the San Diego Chargers, the Ravens appeared to bench returner Jeremy Ross after a bobbled catch, instead allowing Raheem Mostert a chance at returning a kickoff. Mostert would take his single chance 31-yards, seemingly opening the door to competition at a spot that the Ravens had locked up prior. With Jacobs' 4.5 40-yard dash time, Jacobs could be a good candidate to challenge for the return position.
Even without that, Jacobs' size, speed, and athleticism makes him an ideal candidate for a slot receiver role. After Michael Campanaro found his way to injured reserve following the Ravens week 4 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens have rotated a few players into that role, including Jeremy Ross. With Ross' ability to hold onto the ball in question, again Jacobs could find an opening to showcase the way he finds holes in zone coverage and his potential to turn small catches into big gains.
If you want to get a glimpse of the player he was at Utah State, we have a highlight video for you below.
Look, Jacobs isn't a splash signing. We weren't going to see one today or for the rest of the season with the Ravens so tight up against the salary cap. The big thing at this point is stockpiling young players to evaluate and see who is worthy of keeping next season. For being both a return specialist and a receiver, Jacobs fits the bill perfectly for the Ravens and could be the diamond in the rough that they so often find at other positions they do this with.