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Young Wideouts Looking To Find A Spot



The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Looking past an assumed two tiers of wideouts that make up the Ravens' roster, there is a muddled group of young players in Baltimore all hoping to make their mark during passing camp.

Sure, there is the assumed "Big 3" of wideouts in Anquan BoldinDerrick Mason and Donte' Stallworth, and then you have Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams, both fighting for a roster spot in their own right.

But what of the young 'uns?

As the Ravens' first Organized Team Activity (OTA) continues this week, quarterback Joe Flacco believes a gem or two might emerge.

"I think the main thing is you've got to come out here, you've got to compete full speed, you've got to catch the football," Flacco said on Tuesday.  "Just getting in your playbook so that when you get out here at practice, lining up and knowing the right routes, nothing is going to hold you back.

"Obviously, in a few practices from now, we'll probably see guys jump out at you a little bit."

The Ravens probably won't come out of the week with any specific answers, but this offseason will undoubtedly separate the wheat from the chaff.

Here is a look at what is viewed as the third tier of receivers:


**Rodelin Anthony**, Ravens Rookie Free Agent, 20106-foot-5, 230 pounds
The Skinny:Anthony is hard to miss on the practice field, as the UNLV product's size makes him stand out.  The former Rebel didn't have the most prolific college career, but did log 12 touchdowns over four years and boasted big-play potential with a 14.5-yard average per catch. If he takes coaching well and shows improvement with his hands and route running, Anthony could be an intriguing practice-squad prospect.


**Chris Hannon**, KC Chiefs Rookie Free Agent, 20066-foot-3, 205 pounds
The Skinny:One of the biggest things Hannon brings to the table is experience, as he was an undrafted free agent signee of the Chiefs in 2006, spent the 2007 campaign on the Carolina practice squad, and then was with the 49ers, Dolphins and Lions in 2008 before spending all last year rehabbing a torn hamstring. Hannon surely has a desire to prove he can still play, but he must be consistent in the receiving game and contribute to special teams.


**Justin Harper**, Ravens Seventh-Round Draft Pick, 20086-foot-3, 215 pounds
The Skinny:Harper has shown promise in his past two training camps, but he has to demonstrate that he can consistently perform, practice-to-practice.  A knee injury landed him on Injured Reserve in 2008, and then he spent the majority of the 2009 campaign on the Ravens' practice squad. His size puts him in another class, and he has knowledge of the offense that many other prospects do not.


**Maurice Price**, KC Chiefs Undrafted Free Agent, 20076-foot-1, 200 pounds
The Skinny:Price is another journeyman that has been with the Kansas City Chiefs (2007-08), Patriots (2008) and 49ers (2009) before he joined the CFL's Calgary Stampeders' practice squad a year ago. Price was very productive during his final year at Charleston Southern, leading the nation in receptions with 103 catches, but he is another hopeful that must show up on special teams.


**David Reed,** Ravens Fifth-Round Draft Pick, 20106-foot, 190 pounds
The Skinny:Utah's most-dangerous threat last year is performing well early with his speed and toughness. Where he may be able to separate himself is when the pads come on, as Reed has a reputation for toughness over the middle, making him a great slot receiver. Reed could also add to the return game, as he was quite dangerous taking back kickoffs in college.


**Eron Riley**, Ravens Undrafted Free Agent, 20096-foot-3, 205 pounds
The Skinny:The promising youngster from Duke earned a practice-squad position after a solid training camp last year and put in hard work on the scout team.  He has similar size to Harper, and both have looked good in this OTA.  What might put one above the other – as far as an active roster spot goes – is special teams dependability.


**Marcus Smith**, Ravens Fourth-Round Draft Pick, 20086-foot-1, 215 pounds
The Skinny:The rugged New Mexico product has not participated in any offseason practices as he recovers from a season-ending knee injury, but he did play in five games in 2008. Netting three special teams tackles that season, Smith is a solid gunner whose special teams prowess could be a boon to the team. Smith must show that he can come back healthy and is pinpointing a training camp open at full strength.

The Ravens certainly have a lot of options from which to choose, but if one wideout from this tier ends up jumping off the film, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron certainly won't be afraid to use him.

"The best guys are going to play," Cameron said. "The good news is we've got a good group of guys that are going to push each other, make each other better. You know, if we have four or five [wide receivers on the roster], that gives us four-wides, that may give us five-wides packages [on the field].

"Our packages can expand, which we need to do, and this is the year to do it. So my guess is, we're going to need them all."

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