The impact of Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones was obvious every time that one of the speedy outside wide receivers ran past flat-footed defenders and under a long, arching throw from Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
Smith, now entering his third season, has quickly become one of the NFL’s premier deep threats. And Jones, who got behind defenses for huge touchdowns twice in the postseason, also has speed to be reckoned with.
Part of their hidden impact -- besides forcing safeties to back away from the line of scrimmage to protect against the big play -- came in the penalties they drew downfield when they weren’t catching Flacco’s deep balls.
According to a recent post from Pro Football Focus, Smith led all NFL wide receivers in penalties drawn last season with 16. That's two more than Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions and Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts. He drew penalties on 2.27 percent of the routes he ran, which was also tops in the NFL.
Smith caught 49 passes for 855 yards and eight touchdowns. He maybe could have had 1,000 yards if not for all those penalties.
Jones, meanwhile, drew penalties on 1.87 percent of the routes he ran in 2012, which was more frequently than Johnson, Wayne, and other Pro Bowl wide receivers such as A.J. Green and Julio Jones.
Combined, Smith and Jones drew 23 penalties last season.
The penalties are often overlooked in the box score and you aren’t going to get points for them in fantasy football, but they are an added benefit of having a pair of wide receivers who can really fly.