When the Ravens signed Willie Snead IV to a two-year contract last offseason, the acqusition was largely overshadowed by the additions of fellow wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown. Snead proved deserving of more love throughout the season, however. Flash forward to today and he’s the only one from that trio still in Baltimore.
Snead’s numbers from last season don’t jump off the page - 62 receptions and 651 receiving yards - but his value goes beyond the box score. Ravens fans know Snead was consistent throughout the year and made big catches in big moments, and he figures to retain a significant role in the offense once again next season.
Here are three goals for Snead ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. Be sure to leave your thoughts down below and join in on the conversation!
1) Continue his chemistry with Lamar Jackson
Whereas former Ravens’ receivers Brown and Crabtree saw their production dip following the quarterback change last season, Willie Snead IV was the only wideout who maintained true consistency throughout the entire year. Although he did put up a few dud performances after the Week 10 bye, Snead was generally a reliable target for Jackson and was especially crucial on third downs. Jackson looked Snead’s way in important moments and more often than not, he came through.
While the Ravens receiver corps will have a much different look next season, Jackson will likely continue to lean on Snead, as he’s the lone veteran in an otherwise youthful pass-catching group. Continued chemistry with LJ will help the offense in 2019-20, but also improves Snead’s chances of potentially getting a new contract from Baltimore after the season.
2) Lead the team in receptions
Snead caught eight more passes than any other receiver on the team last season despite ranking third on the team in targets. Compared to Brown and Crabtree, Snead was more efficient when the ball was thrown his way. Snead caught 62 passes in 16 games and given the lack of established targets around him, he has a great chance to improve upon this number and again pace the team in receptions.
Realistically, there’s very few other players on the roster who could be considered viable candidates to lead the team in catches. Rookie wideout Marquise Brown and sophomore tight end Mark Andrews will have big roles in the offense but thrive as vertical, big-play threats. Snead works the middle of the field extremely well and has proven to have reliable hands, as he rarely ever drops passes. If Snead doesn’t end up leading the team in receptions, that likely either means he had a down season or someone like Brown or Andrews broke out in a big way.
3) Score multiple touchdowns
While never known as much of a threat in the redzone, Snead has scored just one touchdown in the past two seasons - 27 games, to be exact. He recorded seven touchdowns through his first 30 career games, so Snead has clearly experienced a bit of regression in the scoring department since his rookie and sophomore campaigns. He’s not a receiver one would throw a backshoulder fade in the endzone too, nor is he overly shifty or fast, so expecting him to suddenly become a dominant scoring presence is unrealistic. Still, every receiver enjoys scoring touchdowns and Snead is definitely capable of finding the endzone more than once in a season. Scoring at least two or three touchdowns should certainly be an individual goal of his heading into next season.