On March 12, 2013, many Baltimore Ravens fans were shocked to learn that star wide receiver Anquan Boldin would not be returning to the Ravens roster for the 2013 season. After getting over the loss of their go-to receiver, many began to question what offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell had up his sleeve for the upcoming season and how the Ravens were going to make up for such a loss.
Fear no more, Ravens fans. There are plenty of possibilities and well-qualified athletes that have the potential to be the next star receiver.
When Boldin left for San Francisco, Torrey Smith took on the role as the number one receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. After only two years in the NFL, Smith has put up outstanding numbers in multiple games. In his rookie season, Smith notched three touchdowns in the first quarter of the Ravens’ Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams. One year later, the New England Patriots came to Baltimore for a Week 3 Sunday night showdown. Despite losing his younger brother less than 24 hours prior to the game in a tragic motorcycle accident, Smith took the field and produced another exceptional performance. He totaled 6 receptions and 127 yards, leading the Ravens’ receivers.
Torrey Smith has become a leader on the team, especially on offense. Caldwell is looking at Smith to take over as the number one receiver for the Ravens, giving him more opportunities and a chance for his numbers to skyrocket.
Many are looking toward Jacoby Jones to fill the number two receiver spot on the Ravens roster, but it may not be what most people are expecting. Jones will definitely be the next guy in line, but don’t be surprised when other receivers take the field, too. Jones also put up career high numbers in his debut season with the Baltimore Ravens, but his most notable was his 108 yard kickoff return to start the second half of Super Bowl XLVII. Even though Jones will be turning heads again on offense this year, he will have to put a lot of his focus on special teams as well. This could allow for more field time for players such as Tandon Doss, David Reed, and Deonte Thompson, adding more variety and experience to the Ravens’ list of receivers.
Ravens wide receivers will not be the only focal point on offense with all of the readjustments this season. Tight end Dennis Pitta may be a go-to guy for Joe Flacco in 2013. Pitta tallied 61 catches last season, which was only one less than Anquan Boldin. And the best news is, Flacco is the most comfortable throwing to Pitta out of all of his receivers. Flacco will be looking for Pitta more in the slot this season as an option, thanks to the tight end’s ability to catch what seems to be almost anything thrown to him.
The Baltimore Ravens have a lot to work with on offense when it comes to receivers. Ray Rice is also a valuable receiver, totaling 61 catches in 2012. Plus, the Ravens still have Ed Dickson as another tight end and Aaron Mellette, LaQuan Williams, and Tommy Streeter as wide receivers.
Losing one key player sometimes shadows the potential of the others at the same position. But the Ravens still have plenty of time to sort it all out. With training camp just around the corner, things could get very interesting for the Ravens receivers.