The wide receivers put on a clinic at Wednesday's practice for Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
Kamar Aiken made impressive catches as a go-to target for Joe Flacco. Jeremy Butler hauled in several grabs over the middle of the field. Rookies Darren Waller and DeAndre Carter both had their bright spots.
The strong showing came at an opportune time for the young targets, as they capitalized on their increased reps because of injuries at the position to Michael Campanaro and Aldrick Robinson. Campanaro went down with a quad injury on the first day of OTAs and Robinson suffered an MCL sprain Tuesday. Both players will be sidelined until training camp.
"It's going to be very competitive at wide receiver," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after practice.
The Ravens have loaded up on young pass catchers this offseason, as they currently have 11 receivers on the roster. They generally keep between five and seven receivers on the final 53-man squad, and the competition for those coveted roster spots is expected to be a marquee attraction during training camp.
The receivers expected to be roster locks, barring injury, are Steve Smith Sr., Breshad Perriman, Marlon Brown and Kamar Aiken. Beyond those four, the Ravens will have a tight battle throughout the summer.
"One day to the next, different guys are going to get reps and throws, and that's really what determines who moves on," Harbaugh said.
The group is young – eight of the receivers are under 25 years old – and they bring an array of ability.
Campanaro thrives as a slot receiver who can move the chains. Waller is a 6-foot-6 target who can create mismatch problems in the secondary. Carter is a small (5-foot-8, 185 pounds), speedy receiver who also has return ability. Butler established himself as a sure-handed target before landing on injured reserve at the end of training camp last year.
For the receivers currently healthy, they can use their reps at OTAs and minicamp to give themselves an edge going into training camp. And then when camp opens next month, all eyes will be on the group as players look to separate themselves from the pack.
"Who can do it and who can do it the next day, the day after that over the long haul?" Harbaugh said. "We'll find out who those guys are."