HELP WANTED: No. 1 Wide Receiver

Street Talk HELP WANTED: No. 1 Wide Receiver

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The Ravens history of drafting wide receivers has been less than stellar – and that’s putting it mildly. It’s clear a key piece still missing on the offense is a legitimate No. 1 WR that can stretch the field, draw double coverage and score. Only twice since 1996 have the Ravens used a first round draft pick on a WR.


 

A look at the top-20 ranked WRs by total yardage through week 13, reveals that the vast majority share one thing – they were drafted in the 3rd round or higher.


 

Top-20 ranked WRs through week 13


 

Name

Rec.

Yards

TDs

Draft slot

1. Andre Johnson

88

1,146

4

1st rd / 3rd pick

2. Roddy White

68

1,085

6

1st rd / 27th pick

3. Larry Fitzgerald

77

1,075

8

1st rd / 3rd pick

4. Greg Jennings

64

1,057

7

2nd rd / 20th pick

5. Calvin Johnson

53

971

8

1st rd / 2nd pick

6. Steve Smith

52

958

4

3rd rd / 12th pick

7. Anquan Boldin

78

942

11

2nd rd / 22nd pick

8. Brandon Marshall

72

942

4

4th rd / 22nd pick

9. Lee Evans

49

890

3

1st rd / 13th pick

10. Reggie Wayne

62

870

5

1st rd / 30th pick

11. Wes Welker

84

868

1

Undrafted

12. Santana Moss

57

828

5

1st rd / 16th pick

13. Terrell Owens

52

816

8

3rd rd / 28th pick

14. Derrick Mason

62

811

3

4th rd / 2nd pick

15. T.J. Houshmandzadeh

81

810

4

7th rd / 4th pick

16. Tony Gonzalez

73

806

6

1st rd / 13th pick

17. Bernard Berrian

38

795

5

3rd rd / 15th pick

18. Randy Moss

58

785

8

1st rd / 21st pick

19. Desean Jackson

53

775

2

2nd rd / 18th pick

20. Steve Breaston

60

773

2

5th rd / 5th pick


 


 


 


 


 


 

If you break down the draft slots above you will find the following: 9/20 (45%) taken in the first round, 3/20 (15%) taken in the second round, 3/20 (15%) taken in the third round and 5/20 (25%) taken in the fourth round or later. In summary, of the top-20 ranked wide receivers, 75% were drafted in the third round or higher.


 

The Ravens average draft slot when taking a WR is the 4th round, 125th pick. For some strange reason, the Ravens feel that they can develop WRs taken in the lower rounds. Can you name one? Yeah, I hear the crickets too.


 

The Ravens have taken WRs in the 5th round or later six times and in the 4th round or later an astounding 10 times. Word to the Ravens front office; your strategy for drafting wide receivers is flawed and the numbers prove it in a landslide.


 

Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta have assembled a young, developing offensive line. They’ve finally landed that coveted franchise QB supported by solid possession receivers. Come draft day 2009 they shouldn’t be afraid to take a WR in the higher rounds.


 

The trends say you will be rewarded.

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Scot Kleinfeld

About Scot Kleinfeld

Scot is a Baltimore native, a Towson University graduate, and has followed sports since the early 1980’s. Scot likes to go inside the numbers and get the real “411” on the wins and losses,  hence his Behind The Numbers column.
 

Besides being an avid sports fan, Scot has been involved with televison sports production as an Associate Producer since 1993 for WMAR, ESPN, ESPNU,ESPN2, and the former Home Team Sports network.  In addition to his television work Scot has written articles for Baltimore Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine and Patuxent Publishing.  These experiences make him a natural as the creator of the Media Watchdog, another of SK’s fine contributions.
 

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