The Ravens have gone back to the well at wide receiver.
Baltimore traded up in the third round to select Notre Dame wide receiver Miles Boykin with the 93rd overall pick Friday night. Baltimore gave up pick Nos. 102, 191 and 193 to select Boykin.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver gives the Ravens a big body to pair with fellow rookie Marquise Brown, who the team selected in the first round Thursday night.
“The bottom line is that these are two really fast guys who make plays, and that’s what we were looking for,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
Wide receiver was perhaps the team’s biggest need coming into the weekend. The team parted ways with veterans Michael Crabtree and John Brown, while Chris Moore and Willie Snead are returning as the team’s top two wideouts.
General Manager Eric DeCosta said leading up to the draft that the Ravens needed to take more swings at the position, and that’s exactly what he did by taking a pair of wideouts in the first three rounds.
“It’s just kind of how the board fell,” DeCosta said. “Those two guys were up there and we just felt like we had to pounce.”
While Boykin and Brown play the same position, they are much different players. Brown, 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, is the smaller wideout with impressive speed and quickness.
Boykin is a big-bodied receiver who blew up the Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds. His vertical jump of 43.5 inches was one of the best ever recorded, and his 140-inch broad jump was the third best in Combine history.
Boykin didn’t put up big-time production at Notre Dame until his senior season, when he posted 59 catches for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. But with his premier size and athleticism, he has a high ceiling and is a major breakout candidate.
“A size-speed receiver with really tremendous physical gifts,” DeCosta said. “He’s an outside, vertical guy. Very physical to the football – just a big man. And we think his skillset just complements our offense well.”
Boykin also stressed that playing alongside Brown will pay dividends for both of them.
“He’s definitely a big-play threat and I love watching him play,” Boykin said of Brown. “I really just think our games are going to complement each other.”
Check out the huge final college season from big-bodied, fast wideout Miles Boykin.
The fact that the Ravens traded up with the Minnesota Vikings to select him was not lost on Boykin. DeCosta has said over and over again that he covets draft picks, so giving up a pair to move up for Boykin indicates what the Ravens think of him.
“To me, that shows they have all the faith in the world in me,” Boykin said. “I’m going to show they made the right decision.”
Boykin will now enter a suddenly crowded position battle at receiver. Brown and Boykin will be in the mix for starting jobs along with Snead, Moore and free-agent addition Seth Roberts. Baltimore also has last year’s draft picks Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott, who both have potential.
“We have four young receivers in the mix to go along with our veteran guys, and I’m just really looking forward to rolling those guys out there, letting the chips fly and see what happens,” Harbaugh said.