Over the next few months, the Ravens will be linked to a host of wide receivers in free agency and in mock drafts.
Pursuing a No. 1 receiver in the offseason has not been ruled out by either Ravens coach John Harbaugh or general manager Eric DeCosta, but DeCosta said Monday that he was pleased with the progression of the team’s young pass-catchers.
“I thought the young guys emerged and played pretty well,” DeCosta said at his season-ending news conference. “Again, it’s not a traditional offense, so they’re being asked to do some different things. Blocking-wise, there is a more physical aspect to playing receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. I was really, really encouraged by [wide receiver] Marquise [Brown] over the last eight games of the season. He became a legitimate playmaker for us and a clutch guy, scored a bunch of touchdowns, made some big, big plays. In the playoff games, he was a force in both of those games. He showed some great skill, ability to run after the catch, he made some clutch catches.”
Brown led the team in receiving yards (769) and touchdowns (eight) and scored in five of the team’s final five regular-season games.
DeCosta also spoke highly of Miles Boykin (“he made some clutch plays for us”) and rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche II (”I think their best football is ahead of both of those guys”). He added that tight end Mark Andrews, a 2019 Pro Bowl selection, “is one of the better tight ends in the entire NFL.”
Harbaugh and DeCosta were peppered with several questions during their respective news conferences about the team’s passing game and potential upgrades after its struggles in the season-ending loss to the Buffalo Bills over a week ago. But like Harbaugh, DeCosta tempered any expectations for a complete overhaul to the system that has led the offense to score more points than any other unit in the last two seasons.
“There is certainly more room for improvement with everybody at that position,” DeCosta said. “But again, as I’ve said, [and] I’ve said it a few times, there is really more room for improvement with virtually everybody on our team, on our coaching staff and in scouting, including me. So, we’ve all got to do a better job if we really want to take this thing to the next level, which means playing in the Super Bowl or playing in two weeks. That’s our goal, that’s our challenge, and we are very focused on that.”