Much of the discussion around the Ravens this offseason focused on the new-look receiving corps.
The Ravens signed free-agent receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV, and added four draft picks to the group in receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott and tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.
The newcomers attracted much of the attention, but one of the few holdovers might have had the best offseason of all.
Wide receiver Chris Moore shined during the spring practices and made a strong case for himself going into training camp.
“Chris has always been talented, but I think the thing that you see now is him consistently getting open and making the plays,” Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram said. “And part of that is just the natural development as a receiver.”
Moore was a popular target for the quarterbacks this offseason, and he responded by making catches all over the field. His one-handed diving catch was the highlight of spring practices.
“I just come out here, keep working hard, keep trying to make plays for the team,” Moore said. “That’s my biggest thing. Every time I come on the field, I just try to find a way to make big plays.”
The strong offseason continues an upward trend for Moore, who flashed at times last year. He finished the season with 18 catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns. He played his best games in the second half of the year, including in Pittsburgh when he caught three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.
“I felt like I was getting in my groove, and I felt like I was getting very comfortable and just getting a feel for it, Moore said. “So, I feel like bigger things will come next year.”
“Last year, halfway through the year, you really saw him take off and make some big plays for us down the stretch, and he got more consistent in his play last year,” Engram added. “He’s just carried it over into this offseason, so I’m happy for Chris. He’s been working his butt off.”
Moore looks like he’s in line for a roster spot. He’s a valued special teamer, as he’s worked as the kick returner and gunner on punt coverage.
His offseason performance has also shown that he will be in the receiver rotations. Crabtree, Snead and Brown are expected to be the top-three wideouts, but Moore looks like the leading choice for the fourth spot.
And if he continues to impress when the Ravens begin training camp next month, he may end up carving a an even bigger role for himself.
“It was my opportunity to show what I can do, and show that each week I keep getting better and that I’m here to perform,” Moore said. “That’s what I’m here for.”