The wide receiver competition is one of the biggest storylines to watch for the Ravens in the upcoming training camp. It will be interesting to see how many pass catchers the team chooses to keep on the 53 man roster. Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman, and Mike Wallace are locks to make the roster. Fourth-round pick Chris Moore will likely make the team as well.
The Ravens have never released a fourth-round rookie before and that won’t change this year. I believe that the Ravens will choose to keep six wide receivers, which leaves the last spot likely up to Keenan Reynolds and Michael Campanaro.
Reynolds and Campanaro are very similar players. Both are smaller guys that play slot receiver, as well as returners. Being that the two guys have similar skill sets, the Ravens aren’t going to keep both of them, so let's break down the differences between the duo.
First, Campanaro has more NFL experience than Reynolds does. But Campanaro wins that by default has he has actually played an NFL game. However, it's not as if Reynolds has never played on a big stage. Reynolds played at Navy, meaning that every year he would play in the Army-Navy game. The Army-Navy game is the only game being played on the Saturday in between Conference Championships and Bowl games. In other words, every college football fan watches the Army-Navy game. And Reynolds was the quarterback at Navy, meaning that all the eyes were focused solely on him when he was on the field.
Michael Campanaro’s NFL experience has been very limited, however. In two seasons, Campanaro has played in eight games. His injury concerns are something the Ravens should be worried about. Even throughout his entire college career, Campanaro has never played a full season.
But Campanaro has been very productive when on the field. As a senior at Wake Forest, Campanaro put up 803 yards in just eight games. In his rookie year, Campanaro recorded 102 yards on just seven catches.
Campanaro also has another advantage over Reynolds, Campanaro has played wide receiver for much longer than Reynolds. Reynolds has been a wide receiver for only a few months now, and there is no way to tell how his talents will transfer to the new position until we see him on the field.
Reynolds is not your average sixth round pick, however. Reynolds is the NCAA all-time leader in touchdowns scored in a career. He has a knack for putting points on the board. As a quarterback, Reynolds learned how to read the field very effectively. In the triple option system at Navy, Reynolds learned how to make extremely quick decisions. He would read a defense, and decide who to hand the ball off to, or to keep it himself. His field vision will help him greatly as a wide receiver in the open field.
Campanaro and Reynolds are both pegged as return guys as well as receivers. Frankly, Reynolds has much more potential as a return man than Campanaro does. Again, Reynolds field vision will allow him to quickly find the seams, and burst through them. Reynolds has also been said to be a fantastic leader, and the Ravens always want leaders in the locker room.
The worry with Reynolds is his ball security. Campanaro has never shown to have issues with ball security. But if I was the Ravens, I would rather have someone with ball security issues over someone who can’t stay on the field.
Bottom Line: Reynolds has a little more potential than Campanaro does, and Campanaro’s injury problems prove to be his downfall.