The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2023 offseason with numerous needs on both sides of the ball. Free agency is one avenue for them to address them, including at the wide receiver position — where the Ravens will undoubtedly be in the market for new talent.
Let’s take a look at one potential player they could target in free agency — wide receiver Allen Lazard from the Green Bay Packers.
Age: 27 years old
Experience: 5 seasons
2022 stats: (15 games) 60 receptions on 100 targets, 788 receiving yards, 13.1 yards per catch, six touchdowns
Spotrac Value: 3 years, $37 million ($12.5 million annual average)
Lazard is set to hit free agency after five straight seasons of increasing production with the Green Bay Packers. In 2022, Lazard stepped into a de-facto No. 1 wide receiver role following Davante Adams being traded out of Green Bay. Lazard posted career-highs across the board with the exception of receiving touchdowns.
In 2020 and 2021, Lazard played exactly 73% of the Packers’ offensive snaps. That number jumped to 89% this past season as he played a total of 863 snaps on offense. He missed the regular season-opener and Week 14 with injuries.
The former undrafted free agent out of Iowa State developed into a favorite target of Aaron Rodgers over the past couple years. He’s been especially proficient as a scoring threat, as evidenced by his 14 touchdown catches over the past two seasons combined. Lazard has an ideal contested-catch profile standing at 6-foot-5 with a 227-pound frame.
Additionally, Lazard’s size helps him as a blocker. He’s developed a reputation for being one of the better run blockers at the wide receiver position, which is an attribute the Ravens obviously value. This in large part due to moments like this below, where Lazard pancaked three Miami Dolphins’ defenders in one play.
The greatest celebration of the season was Allen Lazard counting the number of guys he pancaked on this run play:pic.twitter.com/tQ2V18f4b7— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 26, 2022
Had he not missed two games this past season, Lazard may have had a near 1,000-yard showing on the year. He also could have matched his previous career high in touchdown receptions of eight, which he set in 2021.
In 2020, Lazard had 254 receiving yards through the first three weeks of the season before suffering a core muscle injury. That sidelined him until Week 10, and he ultimately finished the year with 451 yards. He had 513 receiving yards the following season in 15 games.
Lazard’s yards-per-catch numbers have been relatively steady throughout his career despite increasing playing time. Since 2019, he’s averaged between 12.8 and 13.7 yards per catch every season. The longest reception of his career was 72 yards in 2020. Over the past two years, his longest catch has been 42 and 47 yards, respectively.
Some national pundits have already linked Lazard as a possible good fit for the Ravens, including ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and James Dudko of Heavy.com. Given his blocking ability, physical play style, and the Ravens’ historical hesitancy to take “big swings” at the wide receiver position, it’s not hard to imagine them having interest in Lazard.
Do you think the Ravens should target Allen Lazard in free agency?
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