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The Competition: Wide Receiver


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

Returning Players

Torrey Smith (6-foot-0, 205 pounds, third season)
Smith had another strong campaign in 2012, showing his talent as both a deep threat and growing in other areas. Smith cut down on his drops from his rookie season and showed a more complete route tree, especially dangerous on drag and comeback routes. With the trade of Anquan Boldin, Smith is now in position to be Baltimore's top receiver. He'll have to continue his maturation as an all-around threat.

Jacoby Jones (6-2, 212, seventh season)Jones made his impact felt mainly as a returner last season. As the team's No. 3 wideout, he caught 30 passes for 406 yards and one touchdown. Now Jones is in line for the starting position opposite Smith, according to Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler. He'll serve as another speedster on the outside and look for more big plays similar to the ones he turned in during last postseason.

Tandon Doss (6-2, 205, third season)
Doss has yet to get much of a chance to show his skills, but that should change this year. He's been studying behind Boldin, and caught seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown last season. Doss has soft hands and is a good route runner. He's got to transfer that to games, and perhaps, more importantly, stay healthy if he's going to win a starting or No. 3 job.

Deonte Thompson (6-0, 200, second season)Thompson burst onto the scene last year during training camp. An undrafted rookie out of Florida, Thompson showed his blazing speed. Thompson has continued to build on his game and has impressed Hostler, who called him extremely competitive, durable, a great route runner and finisher. Thompson caught five passes for 51 yards last year.

LaQuan Williams (6-0, 200, third season)
Williams continued his role as a special team's contributor last year. He didn't catch any offensive passes, but played in 11 games. The former undrafted rookie out of Maryland has showed his offensive potential with strong practices this offseason. He showed he can come up big in tight situations, making two first-down catches in the Ravens' 23-30 victory in Pittsburgh in 2011. The second came during a 92-yard, game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

David Reed (6-0, 190, fourth season)The injury bug has plagued Reed throughout his young career. A broken wrist ended his rookie campaign early, then a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) cut his sophomore year short. He spent most of last year still recuperating his knee, and returned for just five regular-season games. He made five catches for 66 yards, and was mostly a special teams player.

Tommy Streeter (6-5, 220, second season)Streeter spent his rookie season on injured reserve due to a foot injury. The sixth-round pick still has the advantage of having a huge frame, and has used that well in the red zone during practices to haul in jump balls. But he is still refining the rest of his game. Hostler said Streeter has grown on and off the field as he's become more of a mature pro.


Marcus Rivers (6-5, 218, first season)
Rivers went undrafted last season and eventually spent time on the Green Bay Packers 90-man roster.  He was not on an NFL team roster during the regular season. He caught 60 passes for 615 yards and two touchdowns during his senior year at Buffalo.


Aaron Mellette (6-2, 217, seventh round)Mellete was*highly productive at Elon, totaling 304 receptions for 4,254 yards and 44 touchdowns. He's got to make a bigger leap to the next level than most rookies, however, because he's coming from a smaller school. *Mellette is a thickly-built receiver who has strong hands, and he flashed some over the offseason.

Marlon Brown (6-5, 216, undrafted)
Brown had 27 catches for 469 yards and four touchdowns last year for Georgia before he tore his ACL in November. The five-star high school recruit never hit it big in college and tumbled off draft boards after his injury.

Rashaad Carter (6-3, 205, undrafted)
Tusculum's all-time leader in receiving yards led the Pioneers with 1,056 in his senior year in 2011. The Division II prospect hauled in 70 passes and averaged 96 receiving yards per game. He was out of football last year.

Omarius Hines (6-0, 215, undrafted)The Ravens signed Hines out of Florida after he went undrafted. Another speedster, Hines posted 64 receptions for 801 yards and four touchdowns in 51 career college games.

Gerrard Sheppard (6-2, 211, undrafted)
The local Towson product totaled 52 catches for 584 receiving yards and five touchdowns in two seasons after transferring from Connecticut. He was released then signed back by the Ravens this offseason* *as the team maneuvered the roster.


Although he's too modest to admit it, Smith is at the top of the receiver depth chart. Who will start opposite him and be the first off the bench is more up in the air.

Jones has the inside track at the No. 2 position, a spot he held in Houston before coming to Baltimore. But the Ravens also value his special teams contributions and likely want to balance his workload.

Doss was drafted in the fourth round and has been groomed for the past two years. He has a skill set similar to Boldin's, but with more speed and less experience and muscle. Thompson is more of a speedster who also hasn't had much playing time. Those two are likely the top contenders for the third and fourth spots with Reed and Streeter nipping at their heels.

Behind them, it's a question of who helps on special teams and how many receivers the Ravens want to keep on the roster. Williams and Reed are quality special teams players, while it's more difficult for Streeter. The rookies are looking to make any impact in a deep corps.

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