In the buildup to the draft, Head Coach John Harbaugh and others talked about the desire for a big, physical wideout who relished blocking.
Michael Floyd certainly fits that pre-draft profile.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Floyd had his best seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, including three straight years (2013-15) with at least 47 receptions and 840 yards receiving. Ravens safety Tony Jefferson played with Floyd in Arizona. They have been reunited in Baltimore, and Jefferson says Floyd can help the Ravens’ offense overall, and Jackson in particular.
“Michael’s a hard worker, a guy that can go up and get the rock, and a great blocker,” Jefferson said. “Also, he’s a good dude. I’m excited about him. I think he’s intriguing. I think he fits what our offense is trying to do.
“How teams played us last year stacking the box, it will give us the opportunity to have a big receiver outside who has one-on-one matchups to go up and get the ball for Lamar. He can go up and get it with his catch radius.”
Whether Floyd finds his niche in the Ravens’ suddenly-crowded wide receiver picture remains to be seen. Last season with the Washington Redskins, the 29-year-old Floyd had 10 just catches for 100 yards in 13 games, and the Ravens are his fifth team in the last four seasons.
Floyd is participating in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this week after signing a one-year deal last Friday, and knows he’ll have to earn his way onto the roster. Willie Snead IV is the Ravens’ top returning receiver, Chris Moore is a reliable backup who also contributes on special teams, and the Ravens drafted two wide receivers, Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. That still leaves plenty of receivers vying for roles, including Floyd, Seth Roberts, Jordan Lasley, Jaleel Scott, Quincy Adeboyejo, and undrafted free agents Joe Horn Jr. and Jaylen Smith.
As the coaching staff makes decisions, Floyd knows every practice will be important.
“Each team only carries about six guys (wide receivers), depending on what the team chooses,” Floyd said. “I know what I can bring to the game. It’s not my first time going through this. I think I can help the team, and I think I can help the young guys. You want to contribute to a winning team however you can. I’m going to get the playbook down, and let the cards fall where they fall.”
Signing with Baltimore has reconnected Floyd with Ravens Assistant Tight Ends Coach Andy Bischoff, who was on the coaching staff at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn. during Floyd’s high school career. Bischoff and Jefferson both told Floyd positive things about the Ravens’ team atmosphere.
“It feels good knowing you’re going to a great organization,” Floyd said. “Coach Bischoff thought I would fit perfectly here, knowing the kind of attitude and mentality that Coach Harbaugh wants of out of his players. Being accountable, going out and playing ball, just having fun.”
The Ravens have added speed to their wide receiver corps, particularly with the addition of Brown. However, there remains a place for physical wide receivers in the offense being installed by Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. Harbaugh alluded to that during the NFL Owners Meetings when he said, “You’re not going to be a certain type of wide receiver and want to come play in Baltimore. We have not received phone calls from some guys. That’s OK. I don’t want to hear from those guys. We want rough guys. We want tough guys.”
Floyd believes he fits that profile. He likes the idea of playing with Jackson and taking advantage of his ability to extend plays.
“Playing with him, you have to be on your toes all the time,” Floyd said. “He’s got legs on him that God gave him. He’s going to throw you open. Just because you’re covered for three seconds, he might slip out of the pocket and give you another four seconds. As a wide receiver, that’s something that you like. I also know we want to run the ball and be physical. Receivers want to catch touchdowns, but I also want to be physical.”
Floyd hasn’t caught more than 10 passes in each of the last three seasons, but he wants to prove he can still be productive. The Ravens have provided that opportunity. Floyd says he can handle things from here.
“I think I have a lot left in the tank,” Floyd said. “[quote]It’s just getting an opportunity to showcase it. This is a good place to bring it back to life. Some places I’ve been recently, the opportunities weren’t there. You can blame that on whatever. But here, I think I have a good opportunity to be successful.”