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Adding Wide Receiver Could Be A Priority

Posted Jan 2, 2014

The Ravens have young Marlon Brown, but will they look for another big body?


Let the Baltimore wide receiver clamoring begin.

It seems every offseason Ravens fans are wondering whether their team will add a big, playmaking wide receiver.

The Ravens got a breakout season from Torrey Smith, who topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and challenged the franchise single-season receiving yards record.

They may have found a gem in undrafted 6-foot-4 rookie Marlon Brown, who tied Smith’s franchise rookie record with seven touchdowns and was second on the team behind Smith in targets (81) and yards (524).

But do they need more? Will adding a wide receiver be a priority this year?

“I think it could be,” Harbaugh said.

It will be talked about over the next couple weeks when the team does its personnel evaluations and Owner Steve Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta, President Dick Cass, Senior Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty and Harbaugh meet for in-depth conversations about the direction of the team and offseason needs in Florida.

“I’m not opposed to adding any good player,” Harbaugh said. “As a coach, you want as many good players as you can possibly add to your football team.”

Harbaugh said adding a “piece here or there is really important” because it allows players to be in the role they’re best at. For example, Brown wouldn't have to be moved so much into the slot if that’s not the best spot for him.

“It’s also important to get competition to push guys, so that they understand, ‘Hey, you know what? If I’m going to get on the field, I’m going to have to play really, really well in practice and in games, or this other guy over here is going to take my reps.’” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens had a number of players pushing for reps this year, but couldn’t find a consistent answer, specifically in the slot. They were banking on tight end Dennis Pitta, but he missed all but four games due to a hip injury.

Wide receivers Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson and Brandon Stokley spent time inside, but none turned out to be a long-term solution. The Ravens could also have an opening outside as wide receiver Jacoby Jones is an unrestricted free agent.

Some of the top wide receivers slated to hit the market are Green Bay’s James Jones, Philadelphia’s Jeremy Maclin, the New York Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, San Francisco’s Mario Manningham and Anquan Boldin, and Tennessee’s Kenny Britt.

There will also be some high-profile wide receivers in the draft, including Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, Southern California’s Marquise Lee and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans. The Ravens haven’t drafted a receiver in the first round since 2005 (Mark Clayton).

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