Just one week into camp, many new faces have made great strides to impress the Ravens coaching staff. Newcomers like Courtney Upshaw, Jacoby Jones, and Corey Graham have shown the team that they are here to make a big impact on the 2012 team. Some will step in right away and be a big part of the team success (hopefully).
But what about the players that will be fighting for the last spots on the team?
It is unknown how many Wide Receivers will be on the squad this year. My guess is 6 will be that lucky number and there are at least 5 locks. Boldin, Smith, Jones, Williams, and Doss will make this team no doubt. And then there is number 6.
Many thought that before camp, 6th round draft pick Tommy Streeter would be a WR who would certainly have a shot at it if impressed in camp.
And then came Deonte Thompson. Thompson, an undrafted free-agent from Florida simply knows how to win. He came from a winning Gator program and can play ball. Can he be the LaQuan Williams of 2011, the hidden gem of training camp? It’s a big possibility!
He has a couple of GREAT upsides that could just earn him a spot on the list of Joe Flacco’s weapons. The big thing that stands out is his BLAZING speed. He ran a 4.3 in the 40 and he was on the Track and Field team in college. Could you imagine having him and Torrey Smith sprinting down the field on either side? That’s simply scary to think about.
Does he have enough to make the team, though?
Thompson has been receiving reps with Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams in practice and it seems that the Ravens are high on him. I believe the pre-season games are going to be crucial for Thompson. If he can show the coaches that he can perform in games and not just practice, he has a legitimate shot!
What I like about Tommy Streeter and I think what could give him the edge, is the fact that he has a GIANT presence on the field. Streeter, a Miami Hurricanes star, stands at 6-6 and has the ability to score every time he steps on the field. He led the Hurricanes last year with 9 TD’s and had 811 yards, another team high. He had a vertical of 33 inches at the 2012 Combine which was at the top of the WR pack.
With his raw talent, a little bit of polishing and he could emerge to be a very successful Wide-Out in the NFL for years to come.
A dark horse candidate to fill this void would be Logan Payne. Payne, originally undrafted in 2007, has been almost non-existent for 5 years as this will be the 6th team he has been a part of. He only has 3 career receptions but the coaches are giving him a shot. With the lack of NFL experience, if he wants to make the team he is going to have to be Superman and be perfect.
Now you might be thinking “Well, what about David Reed?” Reed in my opinion will have a very tough time making this team. Reed has been given many chances. He hasn’t made an impact on this team as a receiver and he hasn’t exactly secured the football returning kicks. Tearing his ACL is just one more thing that worries me about him. Do not be surprised if you have seen Reed take his last snap as a Raven.
Can Thompson show that he deserves a spot on the team? Will Streeter prove that drafting him in the 6th round was one of the best steals of the draft? Or will David Reed finally have his breakout year? This should be a fun battle to watch in the Pre-Season.
In the famous words of Bart Scott- “CAN’T WAIT!”