If you ask Torrey Smith, Ravens don't have big need at wide receiver

The angst from Ravens' fans is palpable every time another accomplished wide receiver is traded or plucked from the free-agent market.

Who are the Ravens going to get to replace Torrey Smith?


For what it's worth, Smith doesn't necessarily think they need anybody.

"Their receivers are fine," Smith said in a phone interview with The Baltimore Sun late last week. "They are perfectly fine. You can never stop adding to your arsenal, but they are very talented guys. I'm glad they are going to get their shot."


Smith was responding to a question, not just adding his two cents. He also sees the logic of his old team drafting another big and fast target for Joe Flacco.

Smith's response was also predictable. The Ravens' receivers were a close-knit group last season and the new San Francisco 49er would obviously love to see a couple of his former teammates get more opportunities and bigger roles.

With their failure to address the position through the first week of free agency, the Ravens either agree with Smith, or they've found the price of the available wide receivers much too prohibitive. It's probably a combination of both.

Earlier this offseason, it appeared the Ravens would have a plethora of options, but that's not the case any longer. Larry Fitzgerald, Marques Colston, Randall Cobb and Vincent Jackson never became available. Mike Wallace, Brandon Marshall and Kenny Stills have already been traded. Smith, Jeremy Maclin, Andre Johnson and Percy Harvin have all found new homes in free agency.

The best of the rest in free agency include Dwayne Bowe, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, Greg Jennings, Cecil Shorts and Hakeem Nicks.

It's believed that Bowe and Johnson are two of the guys the Ravens have some level of interest in. However, Bowe spent the past couple of days visiting with the Cleveland Browns and the Browns are reportedly determined to sign the former Kansas City Chief. Johnson, per reports, visited the San Diego Chargers last week and will spend Monday with the New England Patriots.

There's been no indication that the Ravens covet any of the other options, though that doesn't necessarily mean anything. General manager Ozzie Newsome and his staff hold their cards especially close to the vest at this time of the year.

Regardless, there are plenty of question marks among the remaining available options, including Bowe and Johnson.


Bowe turns 31 later this year, he's had some off-the-field issues, he didn't catch a touchdown pass last season and he hasn't had more than 60 catches in a season since 2011. Johnson made little impact with the 49ers last season and lacks premium speed to challenge defenses down the field.

Shorts has some durability questions and is not the big and physical outside receiver the Ravens would prefer. With Crabtree, Jennings and Nicks, the questions revolve around injuries and declining production.

The Ravens do feel like they have some depth at the position, though they'd clearly like to add some more.

After all, Steve Smith will turn 36 in a couple of months. Marlon Brown struggled last year to build off his impressive rookie season. Michael Campanaro has to prove he can stay healthy. Kamar Aiken was a revelation last year, but will he still have success when matched against the opponent's top or second-best cornerback? The Ravens really like undrafted rookie Jeremy Butler, who spent last season on injured reserve. However, he hasn't played in an NFL game yet.

So, the cupboard isn't exactly bare, but Flacco and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman sure could use another downfield option. If they can't find one in free agency, the draft would work just fine.

"Joe is a beast," Torrey Smith said of his former quarterback.


Smith said that he spoke to Trestman earlier this offseason and again recently at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event in Baltimore, and came away extremely impressed.

"Him and Joe will match perfectly," Smith said.