Aside from signing quarterback Lamar Jackson to a five-year, $260 million contract on the day of the NFL Draft, the biggest talking point surrounding the Baltimore Ravens in recent weeks has been the team’s improvement at the wide receiver position. The Ravens made multiple moves to shore up what was a weak link in 2022 following the season-ending injury to wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
The first such move for Baltimore was signing Nelson Agholor to a one-year deal worth up to $6.25 million with incentives in March. This was later followed by the bombshell signing of Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year contract worth up to $18 million — a rare departure from the organization’s usual spending at the position. The presumed final piece to the puzzle was added through the draft when the Ravens selected Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers with the No. 22 overall pick.
Despite what appears to be drastic improvements for Baltimore’s receiving corps, ESPN’s Mike Clay still ranked the group outside of the top half of the league. The Ravens landed at No. 18 on Clay’s NFL wide receiver unit rankings for 2023.
2023 NFL Wide Receiver Unit Ranks and Depth Charts.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 8, 2023
The Bengals top the chart and the Titans still have work to do. pic.twitter.com/jzBTwQHjFe
While it is fair to expect massive improvement from the group, it is equally fair to err on the side of caution for Baltimore’s wide receiver corps in 2023 when considering multiple factors. Such factors include multiple players returning from season-ending injuries, including Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and Beckham. Beckham also did not play in the 2022 season and will turn 31 during the 2023 season. While flashing immense playmaking ability, Bateman has struggled to stay on the field throughout his first two seasons and it is currently unknown how the talented wideout will look in his return from Lisfranc surgery. While Flowers is a promising prospect, rookies are a wildcard until they show what they can do in live action.
As pointed out by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, this is still a sizable jump for the Ravens considering just how poor the position group was in 2022.