Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Ravens need to address the wide receiver position in this year’s NFL draft. In what has become an annual discussion, Baltimore needs to hit on receivers in the draft more so than ever.
The Ravens struggles at finding and developing talent at the position have been well-documented but with Lamar Jackson entrenched as the starter, they can no longer afford to make poor investments at receiver. Luckily, this draft class is fairly loaded at the position and the Ravens are in a prime spot to acquire a good wideout.
Almost all these receivers below, as well as several others, have been linked to Baltimore in recent weeks and months. The gap between each of them is fairly slim and it’s truly a matter of preference, scheme, and play style. The Ravens have options: selecting a WR in the first round, trading back and taking one in the second, or simply staying put and waiting to see who falls into the third round, among others.
Taking all this into account, here’s the list of guys the Ravens should prioritize.
1) D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Nobody helped their stock at the scouting combine more than D.K. Metcalf. Measuring in at 6’3”, 228 pounds, Metcalf ran a whopping 4.33 40-yard dash time. He wasn’t overly productive in college, but injuries hampered his on-field time. Metcalf has higher upside than any wideout in this class and the Ravens likely wouldn’t hesitate to roll the dice on him. There’s some concern here related to his route-running and hands, but Metcalf has all the tools to be successful at the next level.
2) A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
The other wide receiver from Ole Miss, A.J. Brown as actually more productive than Metcalf at the college level. Brown doesn’t have the same upside, but one could argue he’s more of a sure thing. Not a huge vertical-threat player, but Brown is sure-handed, has an advanced route tree, and creates plays after the catch. Brown primarily played in the slot at Ole Miss, the same position that Willie Snead IV occupies in Baltimore. However, the Ravens need to draft for the future and Brown’s talent is unquestionable.
3) N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
If the Ravens are truly looking for “tough guys” at receiver who can block downfield, N’Keal Harry might be the perfect fit. Harry has ideal size for the position and possesses a good catch radius, evidenced by his 20 touchdown receptions over the past two seasons. Harry has some of the same qualities as Michael Crabtree, who the Ravens parted ways with offseason. However, he projects to be better at creating separation and YAC.
4) Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
They don’t call him “Hollywood” for nothing. Marquise Brown is one of the fastest receivers in this draft class with elite big-play ability. While he’s a bona-fide deep threat, Brown isn’t just a one-trick pony, as he can run routes and create in space. The concern here would be his fit in the Ravens offensive scheme. “Hollywood” has a similar skill set to John Brown, who completely fizzled out last season when Lamar Jackson became the starting QB.
5) Parris Campbell, Ohio St.
Speaking of speed, Parris Campbell wowed at the scouting combine by running an impressive 4.31 40-yard dash time. While he can’t match the vertical potency of Marquise Brown, Campbell is shifty and quick in the intermediate areas of the field. He’s been linked to the Ravens in recent mock drafts, although taking him at 22 would be a reach. If the Ravens trade down or slips into the third round, Campbell is an intriguing option.
Notable exclusions: Hakeem Butler, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Deebo Samuel
What are your thoughts on these wide receiver prospects and which guys would you like to see the Ravens select? Leave your thoughts down below and stay tuned for more positional big boards to follow in the coming days!