What kind of priority are the Ravens putting on finding a wide receiver?
It’s a question that Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome will surely get this afternoon when he meets with reporters on the second full day of the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
While much of today’s focus will be on quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, who are tentatively scheduled to meet with the media today, wide receivers will also interview, both with reporters and interested teams.
It’s clear that the Ravens will add another outside weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco, especially with the assumption that Lee Evans and his sizable contract won’t be back next season. What’s less than clear is how they’ll acquire that player and how high they’ll shoot.
Are they looking for a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver, who would move Anquan Boldin to the slot and work opposite speedster Torrey Smith? Or are they just looking for another No. 2 veteran wide receiver type, confident that Smith will emerge quickly as a No. 1 wide receiver? And is it possible that they eschew an extremely promising free-agent wide receiver market and get their guy in the draft?
The Ravens aren’t going to reveal their plans for all to hear, at least not two months before the draft. It’s been my opinion that they consider rebuilding their offensive line the bigger priority, along with doing contract extensions for Flacco and running back Ray Rice. I’d even consider getting another pass rusher as a bigger need, though I know a lot of you will disagree.
Either way, I would think addressing all those things would make it really difficult for them to still have room under the salary cap for a top free-agent receiver like a Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe or Marques Colston. I would think a couple of the second-tier free agent receivers, say a Pierre Garcon or Robert Meachem, would be more realistic, or a veteran coming off a disappointing season like Reggie Wayne. Wayne was roommates with Ravens safety Ed Reed at the University of Miami, which has prompted the natural speculation that he could come to Baltimore this offseason.
While it’s almost being treated like a formality that they will go offensive line with the 29th pick in the draft, the Ravens could also fill their wide receiver need early in the draft. If a guy like Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd or South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery or LSU’s Rueben Randle or perhaps even Rice’s buddy, Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers, is still on the board, they’ll be forced to make a difficult decision.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times