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Boykin has Miles to Go, but Will Arrive

Ravens Rookie Report
Miles Boykin makes a catch v. Jaguars in preseason action (Photo Credit: Shawn Hubbard, Baltimore Ravens)
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The disrespect is real! Why on earth is Miles Boykin not getting a pass on a rookie season, but Lamar Jackson gets a pass on a second one-and-done playoff run? Ravens fans via social media have destroyed the first-year player in what appears to be the scapegoat fashion. People with those itchy twitter fingers were quick to light the third round WR up saying things like:

The fan who wrote this mess of a tweet is ready to hang Boykin on one missed play when the game was clearly out of hand. There were 49 seconds left in the game against the Tennessee Titans, and the team was down by two scores.

It’s not just reactionary fans though; it appears someone else is convinced there is a need as well.

John Harbaugh, at his year-end press conference, had this to say:

“We have a really good feel for the type of receivers we want to bring in. I know it’s a great year for wide receivers, I’ve been told, in the draft. Maybe it’s a free agent, maybe it’s a trade. Who knows what it could be?”

Boykin was a rookie! He’s still developing. If I had the coaching staff and front office’s ear, I would encourage them to double-down on this developing WR. The 2019 Citrus Bowl MVP showed a great ability to block as well as to track the deep ball (see the first play from scrimmage in Seattle this year).

[Related: Another WR Room Overhaul in Baltimore?]

Being the X receiver is not as glamorous as some believe it to be. Ask Dez Bryant about his final season with the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott used the ground game and the tight ends to move the ball down the field, leaving Dez with the Red Zone work. Why is that you ask? It is because the X receiver is more than likely on the weak side of the formation. So that means the X is lined up opposite of the tight end. Who were Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets? Mark Andrews and the tight ends of course, followed by Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.

If you watch the tape on most of Lamar’s progressions, he locked on Hollywood for the deep shot for a majority of the first look. Then the signal-caller would check next to Andrews as a second progression. Willie Snead was the third option if he was on the field, and if that wasn’t there (and the play was not specifically designed for Boykin on the backside), LJ was bolting up the field. I’m not saying I had a problem with the most electrifying player in pro sports doing what he does best. What I am saying is fans need to cut the rook some slack.

People are so quick to light the guy up but tend to forget he is a talented blocker.

I truly believe no matter who the Ravens draft or trade for in free agency, they should they let this former Notre Dame star develop. If they push Lamar’s focus toward building chemistry with the 6’4 speedster this offseason, the Ravens will have another weapon to add to an already potent offense.

Keep that Boykin hype train rolling into 2020!

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