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Ravens Want To Add One Or Two Wide Receivers


The Ravens are still in the market for wide receivers.

Steve Smith Sr. is returning for another season and the Ravens will get last year's first-round pick Breshad Perriman back in the fold this spring, but General Manager Ozzie Newsome expects to add more competition to that group in the coming months.

Newsome was asked during Thursday's season-review press conference whether the Ravens need to pick up another receiver in free agency or in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft.

"Yes, I think we do," Newsome responded. "And if possible, two, whether it's by the draft and/or free agency. I think we need to continue to improve the depth of our receivers on this roster."

The receiver position certainly didn't play out the way the Ravens expected this year.

Smith and Perriman, who came into training camp as the expected starters, both finished the year on injured reserve. Perriman didn't play a game. Role players like Michael Campanaro and Darren Waller also finished on injured reserve.

Kamar Aiken was the last man standing on the wide receiver corps, and he finished the season with an impressive 75 catches for 944 yards. Beyond Aiken, Ravens backup quarterback Ryan Mallett was throwing to a handful of players who weren't on the roster to start the season.

"If anybody was told that Kamar Aiken would have 75 catches this year, what would you have said? That somebody's going to be hurt," Owner Steve Bisciotti said. "Because Kamar Aiken doesn't catch 75 balls with Perriman and Steve Smith starting. That's just the role of the dice."

Aiken's development does give the Ravens options going into next year. He has proven himself as a reliable target who can make tough catches in key situations.

If Smith gets back on the field and plays anything like he did through the first eight games of last year where he had 670 receiving yards, then that will be a significant boost for the offense.

Perriman's return will also give the Ravens the downfield speed threat they lacked last year.

But the Ravens are still in search of a bonafide No. 1 target to pair with Flacco long-term. Perriman could develop into that player, but he'll have to adjust to after not playing football for an entire year.

If the Ravens try to find another big-play receiver this offseason, then the draft is the likely target. Top receivers go for huge money on the free-agent market and Newsome said, "I don't think we'll be as busy as some teams are in March."

Newsome could also go the route of adding a receiver who becomes available as a cap casualty, just like he did with Smith two years ago. If the Ravens turn to the draft, they will likely have a chance to get the top receiver in the class with the No. 6 overall pick.

Regardless of what Newsome does to bring more receivers into the fold, it's clear that the pass catcher position will again garner much discussion in Baltimore during the offseason months.

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