Steve Smith Sr. knows a thing or two about being an overlooked, undersized receiver.
The 5-foot-9 wideout has built a resume worth of Hall of Fame consideration during a 15-year career despite questions about whether he had the size to last in the NFL. Now Smith sees some of the same questions being asked about a new teammate in Baltimore.
Rookie receiver DeAndre Carter went undrafted partly because of question about his size – he's 5-foot-8, 185 pounds – but the young receiver has already caught the attention of his elder counterpart.
"I like [that] he's hungry," Smith said after Thursday's practice. "I just love his attitude. I see a young Randall Cobb in him."
Comparing Carter to Cobb is high praise for the rookie. The Green Bay Packers receiver signed a $40 million extension this offseason after catching 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. The 5-foot-10, 192-pound receiver has established himself as one of the NFL's premier pass catchers.
Getting to that point would certainly be a steep climb for Carter, who first has to earn a roster spot at what will be one of the Ravens' most intriguing training camp position battles. In addition to Smith and Carter, the Ravens have a deep group with Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler and rookies Breshad Perriman and Darren Waller.
Carter first caught attention of reporters with a strong practice at rookie minicamp earlier this month, and he will certainly draw plenty of eyes throughout the summer. He also had a highly productive college career at Sacramento State, where he recorded 99 catches for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns last year.
In addition to competing at receiver, Carter will also be in the mix as a returner. The Ravens have a need at both kick and punt returner, and Carter has experience in those areas. He averaged 23.7 yards per kickoff return and 12.5 yards per punt return in college.
The Ravens have given Carter opportunities at returner in practice, and that could end up providing an avenue onto the roster.
"He has done a really nice job as a receiver, and he has looked good as a punt returner," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.