Eric DeCosta Talks About Wide Receiver Class, Ravens' Urgency

Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and Willie Snead IV in action.

If the Ravens want to take more swings at the wide receiver position, this year's draft provides a golden opportunity.

Scouts are calling the 2020 draft class perhaps the deepest ever at wide receiver, and the Ravens have nine picks overall, including seven during the first four rounds.

General Manager Eric DeCosta selected two wide receivers early last year, first-round draft pick Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and third-round pick Miles Boykin. While the wide receiver position isn't the Ravens' most urgent need heading into the draft, the opportunity to add another playmaking wide receiver for Lamar Jackson will be there.

"We like our receivers, first and foremost," DeCosta said in a pre-draft video conference call. "I think Myles and Marquise and Willie (Snead IV) and (we) brought back Chris (Moore), we've got some guys who we think are going to make that jump. We really like that room.

"Do we feel the urgency? We probably feel that with every position. We want to be the best we can be at every position. This happens to be a wide receiver class with a lot of really good players. If we're on the clock and we think that guy is the best player, we'll probably pick him. Hopefully we can build our offense to the point where we can say, 'Hey, we're undefendable.'"

Several wide receivers have been linked to the Ravens in mock drafts with the 28th pick, including Justin Jefferson of LSU, Tee Higgins of Clemson, Denzel Mims of Baylor and Laviska Shenault Jr. of Colorado.

The Ravens' reliance on the running game requires wide receivers to block more than in most offenses, and Mims threw some devastating blocks at Baylor while also showing ability to make contested catches. Mims caught 28 touchdowns passes over the last three seasons at Baylor and could give Baltimore another dependable red-zone option.

The Ravens have invested heavily on defense during free agency, placing the franchise tag on Matthew Judon, signing Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe and re-signing Jimmy Smith, Jihad Ward, Anthony Levine Sr. and Justin Ellis. However, the Ravens have not made a major addition to the wide receiver corps, perhaps making it more likely that they will add a young wideout in this year's draft. With so many prospects available, the Ravens could wait until the second or third round and still find a wide receiver with the potential to make an immediate impact.

Pro Football Focus is high on the Ravens taking wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. at some point in the draft. Bowden played both quarterback and wide receiver in college, and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman could surely find some creative ways to use Bowden's skillset as a receiver, runner, or thrower.

The more weapons the Ravens surround Jackson with, the more difficult the offense will be to contain. The depth of wide receiver talent in this year's class could result in the Ravens taking one.

"The receiver class is prolific by many people's standards," DeCosta said. "There's probably 25 draftable wideouts in this draft."

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