Following Wednesday’s mandatory minicamp practice for the Ravens, cornerback Marlon Humphrey spoke to the media. One interesting and encouraging thing the All-Pro defender had to say was that he felt a “major energy change” with Baltimore’s wide receiver group this offseason.
For one of the best cornerbacks in the entire NFL to have such praise for the Ravens’ retooled receiving corps is certainly exciting for a franchise that has struggled at the position for the majority of its existence.
Humphrey mentioned the new coaches brought in by Baltimore this offseason as well. Tee Martin was hired as the wide receivers coach while Keith Williams was brought to be the pass game specialist. The Ravens are hoping that this new pair will help get the most out of such a young group of players.
Several new faces will join the group this season, including Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman, and Tylan Wallace. The Ravens lost veteran slot receiver Willie Snead IV in free agency, instead choosing to go with another veteran in the form of Watkins.
Watkins was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Bills, appearing to be on his way to stardom following a second season with 1,047 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions. Injuries quickly derailed his promising career, however. Since 2015, Watkins has failed to top 700 receiving yards in a season. On August 11, 2017, Watkins was traded to the Rams along with a 2018 sixth-round pick for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick. After spending one season in Los Angeles, Watkins joined the Chiefs where he spent the last three seasons and was an integral player in Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory.
Baltimore looked to the draft to continue adding pieces to the equation. First, the Ravens selected Bateman out of Minnesota with the No. 27 overall pick. When talking about Bateman, Humphrey said he told general manager Eric DeCosta “I think we got a really good one in Bateman.”
Baltimore double-dipped at the position in the draft when they selected Wallace with the No. 131 overall pick in the fourth round. This new trio will join former first-round pick Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, former third-round picks Miles Boykin and Devin Duvernay, and former sixth-round pick James Proche in what should be a contested battle to make the final 53-man roster.