When the Ravens exhausted a fourth-round pick on wide receiver Jaleel Scott in the 2017 draft, reactions amongst fans and spectators were mixed. Some viewed him as an athletic freak with high upside, others saw a player who’d struggle to put things together at the next level.
Neither side was truly vindicated last year, as Scott was placed on injured reserve before the start of the regular season and missed his entire rookie campaign. Before that, however, Scott did little to impress throughout OTA’s, minicamp, and training camp. While he showed occasional flashes of big-play potential, he appeared overmatched more often than not.
After sitting out the entirety of last season, Scott looks like a completely different player this time around. Along with Mark Andrews and Miles Boykin, he’s been one of the team’s most impressive offensive players thus far through the offseason.
Compared to last offseason, Scott appears far more polished overall. He’s creating more separation and has showcased more of a solidified route-tree. Scott’s main calling card coming out of college was as a scoring threat, and that still may hold true today. His combination of size (6’5”) and catch radius suggest a viable red zone target.
However, with that being said, Scott is making more plays than just scoring touchdowns. He’s made a handful of plays both between the hashes and on the outside, demonstrating a level of consistency that we didn’t see from him last year.
While he’s still a long ways away from becoming a legit offensive contributor, Scott is doing himself plenty of favors with his performance in training camp, namely by outplaying other players at the receiver position. Scott has separated himself from the likes of Michael Floyd, Joe Horn Jr., Jaylen Smith and other bubble wideouts, while also making more plays than Chris Moore, who was widely-considered a roster lock heading into the offseason.
If Scott’s high level of play continues into the preseason, it’s hard to envision him not making the roster. Barring an unforeseen scenario in which Moore is cut, Scott has the inside track on the 5th receiver job behind Moore, Boykin, Willie Snead IV, and Marquise Brown, in no particular. Free agent signee Seth Roberts has also had a strong camp.
Jaleel Scott receiving a bunch of reps today. Some with the starters, but mostly second team.— Baltimore Beatdown (@BmoreBeatdown) July 31, 2019
While he’s entering his second year, Scott sat out his entire rookie campaign, essentially putting him on a leveled playing field with Boykin and “Hollywood”. Outside of Snead and Roberts (somewhat), none of the receivers on the projected depth chart have really proven themselves as reliable NFL pass-catchers.
Scott has shown flashes of potentially becoming an impactful player and while it’s early, the window of opportunity is there for the taking. It’s up to him to continue to prove to the front office and coaching staff that he belongs on the roster and can contribute.
So far, he’s on the right track.