The Baltimore Ravens have a need at wide receiver next season with Mike Wallace potentially departing in free agency, Jeremy Maclin being possibly cut and Breshad Perriman having not produced as a 2015 first-round pick. Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Calvin Ridley could be off of the board by Baltimore’s 16th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Below are three contingency plans, Ridley is off the board.
Courtland Sutton, Southern Methodist:
As mentioned in a previous article, Sutton is thought of as the second-best receiver in the upcoming draft. He is 6-foot-4, 216 pounds, has the size, strength and quickness of an NFL receiver. He can track the ball downfield and has the catch radius that scouts like to see. Sutton could afford to bully cornerbacks a bit more, but that will come with time.
He reminds some of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, due to his size and ability to make catches without much separation. With a quarterback like Joe Flacco, Sutton would be his best friend in a red-zone situation. Currently, Sutton is viewed as a mid-late first round pick.
Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame:
St. Brown stands at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. He didn’t produce much this past season, due to the Fighting Irish’s poor quarterback play, but he was often double-teamed and made acrobatic catches. In the NFL, the quarterback play will improve for St. Brown, giving him the throws to show off his great route running ability.
He has shown that he has the speed, body control, size and strength of a good NFL receiver, he just hasn’t been able to fully display his skills. St. Brown is viewed as a first-third round selection, but if Baltimore were to grab him in the second, it would be a value pick.
Auden Tate, Florida State:
Tate is 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. and can reach into the stars to grab a football. Though his production in yards took a hit, while playing with a backup quarterback in 2017, he still had 10 touchdowns. He is a mismatch nightmare, often towering over defenders. At the next level, it is expected that he would be a red zone threat.
He probably won’t be selected in the first round and its a possibility that he falls in the second, but Baltimore could land a receiver who has the size that they haven’t had outside of Chris Matthews. Tate’s ability as of right now would put him among Baltimore’s top three receivers and if he hits his potential, he could be a Brandon Marshall-like receiver in the red zone.