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Ravens Are Going to 'Ask a Lot' of Miles Boykin This Year

WR Willie Snead; WR Devin Duvernay; WR Miles Boykin
WR Willie Snead; WR Devin Duvernay; WR Miles Boykin

The hype train for Marquise "Hollywood" Brown this season pulled out of the station a long time ago thanks to his offseason workout videos, but the key Ravens wide receiver flying under the radar is Miles Boykin.

While Brown's emergence will be a huge factor in whether the Ravens offense is able to get even better after leading the league in scoring last year, it's the man opposite him who could take opponents by surprise.

Boykin appears to be the leading contender to be the top wide receiver opposite Brown, and if Boykin can help Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense establish more of a threat outside – which is the next step in their evolution – then Baltimore's offense might just reach its goal of being “undefendable.”

"Miles Boykin, [we're] really going to load his plate a lot more this year and really ask a lot of him this year," Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said. "We really feel like he's going to take a giant step."

Boykin caught 13 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie last season. He played 38 percent of the Ravens' offensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference, and saw the eighth most targets (22) on the team. That figures to increase dramatically in 2020.

The third-round pick out of Notre Dame has all the tools at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds with long arms, strength to fight off defenders and a 40-yard dash of 4.42 seconds.

Boykin said he's been working on his leg strength to endure a 16-game season, and getting a more thorough understanding of the game. He was a bit of a late bloomer at Notre Dame, not putting up big-time production until his junior year, and the Ravens feel like a little time under his belt in the NFL will make a big difference.

"I just feel like I've been getting better as an all-around player," Boykin said. "I was a rookie, and obviously, I went out there and did what I could. I'm capable of a lot more, and I'll be able to play faster this year, have more chemistry with Lamar and just be able to go out there and just play the game the way I know how to play."

It won't be just Boykin who is relied upon to step up after the free-agency departure of Seth Roberts and trade of tight end Hayden Hurst. The Ravens also drafted Texas speedster Devin Duvernay in the third round and SMU's sure-handed James Proche in the sixth.

Given COVID-19's effect on offseasons, it will be harder for rookies to make an instant impact, but the rookies have been working out this offseason with Jackson and Robert Griffin III.

The Ravens also have returning veteran Willie Snead IV, who Roman called a Swiss Army knife in his offense because he can line up anywhere and is "one of the most physical receivers in the NFL."

Roman isn't going to be boxed into using standard personnel groupings, so it's not going to be all on Brown and Boykin to elevate Baltimore's wide receiver room. Roman likes to roll through different weapons and formations to keep defenses on their toes and maximize everyone's potential.

"We are going to be a very multiple offense. You might see three, four tight ends on the field. You might see five [wideouts] on the field. On the next play, you might see something completely different," Roman said.

"Everybody is going to have an important role, and how we build the overall attack week-to-week will be different. But one thing is for sure; we're going to be multiple with how we deploy personnel – so the more the merrier – and I'm really excited to get to work with those guys."

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