A sentiment frequently expressed by Ravens fan this season is that they aren’t playing as well as they could be, despite sitting at 3-1. In their three wins, Baltimore has won by multiple scores, yet it’s difficult to leave feeling they’ve played a complete game. Whether the team deviates from the run game, struggles to consistently get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, or seems to get too cute with their passing attack, there has certainly been cause for concern. In this article, I’m going to harp a bit more on the passing game, which has been an issue in Baltimore for the greater part of the past decade.
In my opinion, the Ravens do not have nearly enough talent at the wide receiver position. Make no mistake, Mark Andrews is a stud at TE and Hollywood Brown is a promising young target, but Lamar Jackson simply doesn’t have enough tools at his disposal.
GM Eric DeCosta has spent plenty of draft capital in the past few years at WR, to be fair. But in almost every game this season, I’ve found myself wondering where Baltimore’s true #1 outside target is. Even against the lowly Washington Football Team, Terry McLaurin was all over the field and showed his talent. Brown did too, but McLaurin and other receivers Baltimore has faced have really impressed me.
Thus, I’m left feeling a more aggressive approach has to be taken to address the position. Personally, I don’t mind if that happens through a trade for someone like Chicago’s Allen Robinson or through another first-round pick in next year’s draft. One way or another, the Ravens desperately need a third top-flight receiver in this offense.
The Ravens seem to have a newfound commitment to the passing game, but if they want to be successful through the air, they’ll need more options for Jackson. When Andrews is covered and Brown can’t get behind the defense, Miles Boykin and Willie Snead IV won’t cut it. Sure, Devin Duvernay and James Proche could develop into key contributors, but until they prove themselves, they’re question marks.
Let’s see DeCosta go all in to provide Jackson a receiver he can throw it up to with confidence. If that happens, third down conversions will be that much easier, the passing game will be a more consistent threat, and the offense will really start moving at a Super Bowl level.