It is no surprise that the Ravens need a wide receiver. Whether it comes through the draft or free agency, Baltimore must find a way to land a dynamic receiving threat. The Chicago Bears at the eighth overall pick appear to be a prime candidate to select Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, the consensus top receiver in the draft. If that does happen, the Ravens won’t have a receiver worth a selection at the 16th pick, and they’ll have to wait to get a lower tier player in a later round.
Considering the Ravens struggles in recent years to develop wide receivers, signing a proven player has strong appeal. This way, the Ravens can get a player who will make an instant impact on a team that frankly isn’t that far away from being a contender.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in his State of the Ravens press conference that the team must make a “splash” free agent signing. Names like Jarvis Landry and Jimmy Graham have floated around for the Ravens when it comes to a splash signing, but I don’t see either player as the one the Ravens will bring in. Instead, the Ravens splash free agent signing is going to be wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Robinson would bring many attributes to the Ravens receiving corps that it simply doesn’t have right now. The biggest attributed he would bring is his size. Alshon Jeffery showed the world in Super Bowl LII how much a big receiver can change the game. The Ravens simply don’t have a have a big, strong receiver right now. They have a bunch of smaller, speed receivers who are nothing more than deep threats. Robinson would give the Ravens a player who can make contested catches, win jump balls, and use his size to his advantage. Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus agrees:
“The Ravens need a wide receiver who can help Flacco out by winning at the catch point and Allen Robinson would fit the bill perfectly. Robinson has shown a history of making his quarterbacks look better both in Jacksonville and at Penn State in college, and delivered a PFF grade of 87.5 in 2015...24-year old wide receivers with the upside of Robinson don’t hit the market very often, and if he does he could be the perfect medicine for the Ravens offensive struggles.”
Robinson is also an excellent route runner. This film breakdown shows Robinson’s ability to create space using his route running skills.
Robinson is coming off a major injury, which is certainly concerning, but that injury will make him come cheaper, something the Ravens could desperately use considering how tight they are running up against the salary cap. However, as McGuinness wrote, you don’t often see wide receivers this young, and with this level of talent hit the market. The injury is concerning, sure, but if the Ravens can get a discount on a playmaker of Robinson’s caliber, then I’m all for it. I think Robinson fits what the Ravens need better than other receivers, and should be the splash free agent signing Bisciotti foresaw.