The Ravens may not have made the splash in free agency that fans were hoping for, but they still upgraded their offense.
Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson and Donte Moncrief were all names fans grew familiar with as free agency loomed. Who did Baltimore end up with, though? Wide receivers John Brown and Ryan Grant. Definitely not who anyone predicted them to sign.
These signings aren’t flashy or very exciting for most people, but they have improved the Ravens’ offense on paper. Grant is coming off a career best 573 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2017 with the Washington Redskins, and is trending upwards. Brown eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards with seven touchdowns in 2015, but has dealt with injuries and poor quarterback play with the Arizona Cardinals since. They are both 27-years old, with untapped potential.
Grant is a player who does many things well. He is a solid route runner with good hands and control of his body. He is also good at converting short-yardage third downs. Grant could be the possession receiver Baltimore lacked in 2017. The Ravens should increase his role and amount of targets in their offense compared to the Redskins, and Grant’s production should increase.
Brown is the riskier signing of the two, as injuries have impacted his performance in recent years. He has shown he can be a 1,000 yard receiver, but multiple injuries kept Brown on the sidelines. John possesses great speed and could replace Mike Wallace as Baltimore’s deep-threat WR. The Ravens have lacked a player who could truly take the top off a defense and Brown could be the possible solution.
Baltimore may not have landed a fan-favorite target such as Robinson or Landry, but General Manager Ozzie Newsome certainly improved the roster with the signing of Brown and Grant. There’s still the NFL draft in April as well, where the Ravens could land one of the top wide receiver prospects such as Calvin Ridley, Courtland Sutton, Christian Kirk or D.J. Moore. Newsome meant it when he said the Ravens’ receiving unit could look completely different to start the 2018 season.