Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown celebrates after his game-winning touchdown was confirmed by officials in the final seconds of the fourth quarter against the Vikings. (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun /December 8, 2013)
The word on Torrey Smith when he entered the 2011 NFL Draft was that the wide receiver could become the vertical threat offenses desire. And he has done that for the Ravens, averaging 18.7 yards per catch in his rookie campaign and posting four of six touchdown receptions of at least 25 yards.
But Smith also proved that he can make the necessary grabs on short and intermediate routes that produce first downs, not just highlight-reel scores.
In the team’s 24-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Smith caught five passes for 48 yards, averaging 9.6 yards – his second-lowest average when making at least three grabs this season.
But two of those receptions gained first downs for the offense, and Smith said afterwards that he hopes people don’t simply view him as a deep threat.
“It’s part of being a receiver,” he said. “If you think about it, I’ve only ran past people a few times this season, and the majority of catches are underneath. It’s just something that I have the ability to do. For me, I just want to be great at every little thing. I think I’ll get there learning from Anquan [Boldin] and Lee [Evans].”