Baltimore Ravens

Ravens draft position-by-position breakdown: Wide receiver

Ravens officials frequently call the draft the "lifeblood" of their organization and they put a tremendous amount of time and resources in preparing for it each year. They consistently downplay any outside attempt to place a greater importance on one draft compared to others.

However, as this year's version gets closer – the three-day draft will begin on April 27 – the Ravens have the same sense of urgency that presided over their aggressive start to free agency and what's been significant offseason roster turnover.


Ravens coach John Harbaugh has spoken confidently about his team returning to the playoffs after missing out three of the past four years, but a strong draft is seen as a must.

The Ravens have seven total picks, including the 16th overall selection in the first round, two in the third round and four of the first 78 selections. Their needs include a play-making wide receiver, one or two ready-to-play offensive linemen, an explosive edge rusher and depth along the defensive front and in the secondary.


Until April 26, the day before the start of the three-day draft, The Baltimore Sun will look at the Ravens' depth chart at each position, the likelihood that they will add to it and who they possibly could target.

Today we'll examine wide receivers.

Current wide receivers under contract: Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore, Chris Matthews, Keenan Reynolds, Vince Mayle, Kenny Bell

Chances that the Ravens will draft a wide receiver in first three rounds: High. Ravens officials have spoken a lot about adding playmakers on offense, but aside from running back Danny Woodhead, they've yet to get quarterback Joe Flacco any help this offseason. That has to change in this draft. General manager Ozzie Newsome says the Ravens won't hesitate to draft a first-round receiver even though that hasn't been a good formula for the team. If they don't use the 16th pick on a pass catcher, they almost certainly have to come out of Day Two of the draft with one.

Possibly on Ravens' radar: Corey Davis (Western Michigan), Isaiah Ford (Virginia Tech), John Ross (Washington), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Southern California), Mike Williams (Clemson), DeAngelo Yancey (Purdue)

Outlook: The wide receiver position remains an elusive fix for Newsome. He has never drafted a wide receiver who went to the Pro Bowl and the three first-round receivers he's taken – Travis Taylor in 2000, Mark Clayton in 2005 and Perriman in 2015 – have been disappointments. Perriman, at least, still has an opportunity to change that narrative. The Ravens will almost certainly have the opportunity to select one of the top three receivers available: Davis, Ross or Williams. They've done their due diligence on all of them, bringing them in for visits. Team officials have talked about adding a complementary, possession receiver to pair with speedsters Wallace and Perriman. Davis or Williams probably fit that mold best although Ross is hardly a one-dimensional deep threat. All three players would provide a much-needed boost to a receiver group that lacks an accomplished playmaker behind Wallace. If the Ravens pass on a receiver in the first round and Smith-Schuster is still on the board in the middle of round two, the former Trojan who has drawn some comparisons to Anquan Boldin would be a great fit. The pressure is on Newsome and company to get Flacco some outside help.