Carroll County Times

Analysis: Ravens have no clear answer at No. 2 receiver

OWINGS MILLS - Torrey Smith is the clear starter at one wide receiver spot.
He's a proven deep threat. He's continuing to develop the other areas of his game. And he's been consistently solid through the first week of training camp.
The starting spot opposite him, though? Still very much murky.
Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson are all part of a group competing to fill the starting spot vacated by Anquan Boldin.
Jones and Doss in particular have some flashes of ability during training camp, but the problem is that it hasn't been on a consistent basis and, at this point, no one out of the group truly looks like a viable starting receiver.
"Everybody is continuing to get better each and every day out here," Smith said during the weekend. "[But] I think the biggest thing for us is to all become consistent in everything. I think that's the key to becoming successful in this league and as a group."
That's not to say that the group of Jones, Doss and Thompson lacks ability.
Jones, as he's shown throughout his career, is fast and capable of producing a big play whenever he's on the field. For example, he got behind Ravens starting cornerback Corey Graham for a long gain during practice Wednesday.
Doss has just seven catches in two NFL seasons, but he's regarded as a polished route-runner with good size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and arguably the best hands on the Ravens' roster, and he had probably the best catch of the day Wednesday, twisting his body to make a contested back-shoulder catch over the middle of the field on a pass from quarterback Joe Flacco.
The problem? Again, consistency.
Jones had the long catch Wednesday, but he also had two drops and has disappeared at times during training camp aside from the occasional big play.
Doss has made some difficult, contested catches like the one Wednesday, but he's also had several drops during the past several days and has struggled to get open at different points.
Thompson is maybe the fastest player on Baltimore's roster, and he was talked about all throughout the spring as a player poised for a breakthrough season, but he's yet to really stand out during training camp.
Actually, LaQuan Williams, who isn't really mentioned as part of the competition for playing time outside the organization, has been better and more impactful than Thompson during training camp. But at this point, Thompson, Williams and David Reed look to be more part of a group competing for playing time and reserve jobs behind Smith, Jones and Doss.
Smith is fine as the starter on one side. But whether the Ravens have a viable starter on the roster aside from him is no clearer than it was entering training camp a week ago.