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The Competition 2016: Wide Receivers


"The Competition" is a series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp.

Returning Players

Kamar Aiken (6-foot-2, 215 pounds, fourth season)

Daniel Brown (6-5, 225, second season)

Jeremy Butler (6-2, 213, third season)

Michael Campanaro (5-9, 185, third season)

Kaelin Clay (5-10, 195, second season)

Chris Matthews (6-5, 218, third season)

Breshad Perriman (6-2, 218, second season)

Steve Smith Sr. (5-9, 195, 16th season)


Chris Moore (6-1, 205, fourth-round pick)

Keenan Reynolds (5-10, 190, sixth-round pick)

Free-Agent Additions

Mike Wallace (6-0, 205, eighth season)

Projected Starters

Smith is the leader of the group, and he'll be in the starting lineup as long as he's fully recovered from last year's torn Achilles. Smith has not given a definite timetable for when he expects to return, but he recently posted a video of him running again. General Manager Ozzie Newsome also said this offseason that Smith should be ready to go for the season opener Sept. 11. If the injury takes more time to recover or he has to take a reduced role because of it, then that will create an opportunity for other players. The most likely starter opposite of Smith is Aiken, who led the team with 944 receiving yards last year. Perriman could push for the starting job if he's healthy, but he first has to recover from another knee injury he suffered this offseason. You can't rule out Wallace either.

Key Role Players

The Ravens brought in Wallace and Moore this offseason to give the offense more vertical threats. Wallace is motivated to bounce back from last year's disappointing season with the Vikings and Moore showed serious big-play potential in college. The Ravens will lean on both of them to stretch the field this season. The Ravens also need players to work the middle of the field to move the chains, and that's where Campanaro or Reynolds can excel. Campanaro has dealt with nagging injuries his first two seasons, but the Ravens have high hopes for him as a slot receiver. 

Most Anticipated Battle

The competition for a starting job will be something to watch throughout the summer. Aiken goes into camp with the advantage after last year's breakout season, but Perriman could push him for reps if he's healthy. Wallace will also be in the mix for a starting job based on how quickly he adjusts to his new home. On the other end of the depth chart, the Ravens will have several players vying for the final receiver spot on the roster. The Ravens may not be able to keep both Campanaro and Reynolds, so the microscope will be on both during camp. Baltimore also has several other young players capable of playing their way onto the team. Matthews made a name for himself with the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX and Butler was a one of the impressive players during last year's training camp. Clay also showed his big-play potential last season with a punt return touchdown in last season's victory over the Browns on Monday Night Football. The group has depth from top to bottom, and seemingly just like every year, the position has plenty of intriguing storylines going into camp.

We're taking a look at several competitive positions heading into OTAs as players look to move up the depth chart this offseason. For the receivers, Steve Smith Sr. will lead the pack once healthy. But who will be the No. 2?

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