Though the exact hierarchy of the top four wide receivers for the 2022 Ravens and how they will be used is still a work in progress, their identities are fairly clear: Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace appear slotted for those top four spots. What happens after that is a matter of much conjecture.
Second-year man Binjimin Victor is probably the headliner of a parade of unheralded tall receivers, including undrafted rookie free agents Shemar Bridges, Makai Polk, Raleigh Webb and Devon Williams — all of whom stand between 6’2” and 6’5”. Any of them claiming that fifth receiver spot wouldn’t be a complete shock, and neither would fellow rookies Slade Bolden or Bailey Gaither, who come in with different physical profiles, but have also made some noise during training camp.
My eye, however, keeps returning to 5’11” second-year player Jaylon Moore, who stuck to the Ravens’ practice squad last year after entering camp as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee-Martin. Not exactly a noted powerhouse for producing NFL talent, Moore did some nice things in college, posting nearly 1,500 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, compiling a very respectable 16.2 yards a reception. Moore also ran track at Tennessee-Martin, breaking the school record in the 100-meter run with a time of 11.02, according to a profile on nfldraftdiamonds.com.
But it’s what he’s done on the practice field the past few weeks that has truly turned heads.
He has been winning the majority of his reps in one-on-ones, breaking off clean short routes, and doing a nice job of using precise angles to pop free on intermediate routes. He has caught just about everything in his reach, and, has also done a nice job working both the middle of the field and the sidelines.
On Saturday, Moore caused the biggest stir amongst those in attendance when he hauled in a deep pass from Lamar Jackson despite tight coverage from impressive rookie cornerback Denzel Williams. It showed that Moore truly does have the ability to win short or long, with savvy routes or in contested-catch situations, and by stacking day after day of good-to-great practices.
Moore also wowed the crowd at the Ravens’ stadium practice on Saturday, July 30, hauling in another contested catch, this time over corner Robert Jackson.
There is still plenty of time for this competition to sort itself out, and this wouldn’t be the Ravens if the ability to also contribute significantly on special teams wasn’t going to play a key factor in some of these back-end-of-the-roster decisions. If any of these young wideouts start riding a tsunami of momentum on the practice fields or preseason games, there is probably a roster spot to claim.
But don’t be shocked if Jaylon Moore is the one locked into that fifth receiver role when the season starts on Sept. 11.