The Ravens are in quite the familiar predicament following the 2022 NFL Draft as they look to scrape the bottom of the barrel for a potential bandaid at the wide receiver position. Baltimore traded away wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and the No. 100 overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals during the first round of the draft in exchange for the No. 23 overall pick while failing to use any of their ensuing 10 picks to help replenish the position.
The Ravens will have to bet on potential if they go into the season without adding a veteran receiver to a group consisting of Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and Tylan Wallace. Even if several of the aforementioned players break out in 2022, Baltimore still needs more depth and considering that the Ravens were reportedly interested in Jarvis Landry before he signed with the New Orleans Saints, they likely feel the same way.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari listed the top landing spots for two veteran receivers following Landry’s exit from the open market.
“Landry’s signing took a big name off the wide receiver free-agent market, leaving veterans Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton as arguably the two best players still available at the position,” said Chiari. “Jones, 33, hit free agency in March when he was released by the Tennessee Titans. Jones spent just one injury-plagued season in Tennessee after 10 fruitful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He has a case to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer one day with seven Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro selections to his credit, as well as 879 receptions for 13,330 yards and 61 touchdowns.”
A few years ago, Baltimore would be jumping with joy at the thought of adding Jones to their offense, but time is a cruel mistress and Jones’ best days are clearly behind him now. Still, the big-bodied prototypical X receiver may be a better option than hoping for a breakout season from multiple players.
Chiari continued with Hilton.
“The 32-year-old Hilton has spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts. Like Jones, he dealt with injuries last season and was limited to just 23 receptions for 331 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games. Hilton is a four-time Pro Bowler, however, and has racked up 631 catches for 9,691 yards and 53 touchdowns in 143 career regular-season games.”
The Ravens reportedly had interest in signing Hilton last offseason before he returned to Indianapolis, leading to them signing veteran Sammy Watkins.
“Jones and Hilton are both getting up there in age and have dealt with injuries in recent years, but either could be a nice value signing for a receiver-needy team,” said Chiari. “It seems likely that Jones and Hilton will be pursued by the same teams since they are similar in that they are both veteran guys with the ability to make plays down the field.”
Chiari went on to address teams in need of a veteran wide receiver, including Baltimore.
“There is perhaps no team in the NFL in greater need of a veteran wideout than the Baltimore Ravens, especially after trading Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft,” said Chiari. “Brown’s departure leaves 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman as Baltimore’s clear No. 1 wideout, and there are nothing but unproven options behind him, including Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace and James Proche. A No. 2 wideout in Baltimore’s run-heavy offense may not see a ton of targets, but quarterback Lamar Jackson needs another reliable option outside of Bateman and tight end Mark Andrews, and either Jones or Hilton would fit the bill.”