Ravens Are the Media's Pick for Veteran Wide Receivers Still on the Market
The Ravens were reportedly interested in signing wide receiver Jarvis Landry, but on Friday, Landry announced he was going home to play for the New Orleans Saints.
Now, if the Ravens are still interested in adding another receiver, they must turn elsewhere. According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari, Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton are possible candidates.
"A No. 2 wideout in Baltimore's run-heavy offense may not see a ton of targets, but quarterback Lamar Jackson needs another reliable option outside of Bateman and tight end Mark Andrews, and either Jones or Hilton would fit the bill," Chiari wrote.
Ravenswire's Kevin Oestreicher also sees either Jones or Hilton as an option for the Ravens.
"Both Jones and Hilton would add a skillset that Baltimore needs out of their wideout room," Oestreicher wrote. "Jones is a big-bodied target who can make contested catches with ease, while Hilton can stretch the field and spread out a defense. Both have dealt with their fair share of injuries of the course of their careers, but if they can stay on the field either would provide a solid option for the Ravens."
Both Jones and Hilton also made the list of possible free agent receivers the Ravens could be interested in from Ebony Bird’s Justin Fried.
"Hilton is still a good player even at his age. He wouldn't transform the Ravens' offense, but he would be a worthwhile addition," Fried wrote. "Jones flashed at points last season, but injuries and other inconsistencies held him back. Still, if the Ravens are looking to make a post-draft splash, this would be one way to do it. Provided the contract is cheap and affordable, signing Julio Jones for a year would be a fun, albeit risky way to address the wide receiver position."
Rashod Bateman Ranked No. 3 Among Second-Year Breakout Candidates
While speculation brews as to who might join the Ravens, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks listed somebody already on their roster, wide receiver Rashod Bateman, as his No. 3 candidate for a second-year breakout.
"Although Bateman is more of a chain-mover than a home run hitter, he is a natural WR1 with sticky hands and crafty route-running skills," Brooks wrote. "He should excel as the complementary playmaker opposite Mark Andrews and the Ravens' rookie tight ends (Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely)."
If Bateman were to have such a breakout, he'd join Andrews and quarterback Lamar Jackson as recent Ravens who have emerged as stars in their sophomore season. Andrews added 300 yards and seven touchdowns off his rookie year, while Jackson earned League MVP with his groundbreaking sophomore campaign.
The Ravens traded away Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, effectively showing their confidence in him to become their No. 1 wideout.
ESPN's Matt Miller Still Praising Ravens' 2022 Draft Class
The draft grades were released a while ago, but ESPN’s Matt Miller is still heralding the Ravens' 2022 draft class. Miller, joined by other ESPN colleagues, gave their picks for favorite pick, rookie awards and which team's draft class will have the biggest impact in 2022. Miller had a Raven or the Ravens for three of his answers.
On who will win Defensive Rookie of the Year …
Miller: "Kyle Hamilton, S, Baltimore Ravens. It's very rare for a safety to win postseason awards, especially as a rookie, but Hamilton has the instincts and playmaking ability to produce the type of three-down stats (tackles, interceptions, sacks) to get the nod."
On which draft class will have the greatest impact in 2022 …
Miller: "Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens had a fantastic top-to-bottom 2022 draft and will see an immediate payoff from it. First-rounders Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum will both be rookie starters, but DT Travis Jones, RT Daniel Faalele, CB Jalyn Armour-Davis and TE Charlie Kolar will also play early roles and have starter potential. And don't forget punter Jordan Stout, who will also have an impact on Day 1."
On what was his favorite pick in the entire 2022 draft …
Miller: "S Kyle Hamilton to the Ravens at No. 14. Hamilton was my No. 4 overall player in the entire draft class, so not only was this pick a great value for Baltimore, but it is also a perfect example of taking the best player available. Hamilton will be a leader and a three-down difference-maker for the Ravens' defense."
Hamilton wasn't just Miller's favorite pick among the pundits, as Matt Bowen also selected the Ravens' safety.
"With his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame and top-down speed, Hamilton can play a disruptive role in the Ravens' system," Bowen wrote. "Look for new coordinator Mike Macdonald to deploy the versatile rookie at multiple levels of the field to create on-the-ball production."
- NBC Sports’ Peter King clarified why the Ravens selected punter Jordan Stout at pick No. 130, rather than No. 139. "[Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta] thought because of chatter he heard in the GM community that Tampa Bay (at 133) and Cincinnati (at 136) could pick a punter, and because, as DeCosta told me, 'We thought Stout was the best punter to come out in the draft in years,' Baltimore didn't want to risk losing him," King wrote.