Baltimore Ravens

Where can the Ravens find a wide receiver? Here are potential fits in free agency, the draft and trades.

If NFL mock drafts and free agency guides agree on one thing, it’s that the Ravens need a wide receiver.

It would be difficult to argue after a season in which no Ravens wideout reached even 500 receiving yards. They will have a new offensive coordinator in 2023 and plan to arm him with new pass catchers to supplement 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman and last year’s No. 2, Devin Duvernay. General manager Eric DeCosta and coach John Harbaugh said as much at their season-ending news conference.


“The one area that needs to be built is the wide receiver room, so that will be a new room, basically,” Harbaugh said. “There will be pieces of it still there — you know the guys — and then we’ll be adding a lot of pieces to that room, and there [will] be competition, too. So, that’ll be the room that will start together in this new offense, and we’ll build with those guys.”

Tight end Mark Andrews added his two cents at the Pro Bowl, where he told NBC Sports’ Chris Simms the Ravens have to change their reputation for depressing receivers’ production. “This is such a pass-happy league,” Andrews said. “if you’re not doing it, you’re gonna fall behind.”


The Ravens do not have a high first-round pick or abundant cap room as they face the prospect of using the franchise tag to keep quarterback Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. But they will have realistic targets in free agency, the trade market and the first three rounds of the draft. Here’s a look at wide receivers who might fit:

Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) reaches up to catch a pass as Titans cornerback Roger McCreary, right, defends during a game Nov. 17 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Free agents

Allen Lazard: The 6-foot-5, 227-pound Lazard is built like a tight end and produced consistently as a third-down and red-zone target for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. He’s also an excellent blocker, a trait the Ravens prize in their wide receivers. Lazard’s statistics won’t blow anyone away, but he held his own stepping in for Davante Adams as Rodgers’ No. 1 option. With a career average of 13.2 yards per catch, he’s more of a big-play threat than he might appear. Plenty of analysts have already suggested him as a prime target for DeCosta. The only worry is that his price tag — Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger projected it at three years, $33 million — might soar given the paucity of appealing wide receivers on the free-agent market.

D.J. Chark: The 2018 second-round pick out of LSU would bring the size and speed the Ravens have lacked in their wide receiver corps. He would also arrive with durability concerns after missing 19 games over the past two seasons. Chark played 2022 on a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions and delivered exactly what they paid for when he was on the field, averaging 16.7 yards per catch. He was Jared Goff’s most potent downfield target as the Lions won five of their last six games and nearly made the playoffs. In 2019, he caught eight touchdown passes and made the Pro Bowl for the Jacksonville Jaguars. With so few big-play threats available in free agency, Chalk will command more years and more dollars than he did last offseason. Would his inconsistency and injury history dissuade the Ravens from bidding?

Parris Campbell: The 2019 second-round pick out of Ohio State lacks big-play upside (9.9 yards per catch in 2022) but was a consistent bright spot in a difficult season for the Indianapolis Colts. He caught 63 of 91 passes thrown his way and at 6-feet, 208 pounds, would give Jackson a sturdy target out of the slot. Campbell’s injury history — 15 games played over his first three seasons — might mean he’s available on a modest, one-year deal, so he could be a low-risk play for the Ravens, who could pair him with a draft pick to build out their wide receiver room.

Odell Beckham Jr.: Reports listed the Ravens among Beckham’s suitors before he ultimately missed the entire 2022 injury because of a torn ACL. Beckham has not played a full season since 2019, but he did help the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl a year ago. At age 30, he might have a few more productive years in him if he can prove he has recovered from the knee injury.

Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) catches a 6-yard touchdown pass behind Vikings safety Harrison Smith during a game Oct. 30 in Minneapolis.

Trade targets

DeAndre Hopkins: No other player has featured so prominently on the Ravens fans’ wish lists. The Arizona Cardinals will start over with a new coach and a new offensive design, so it’s not clear how Hopkins, looking to win now at age 30, would fit with their rebuild. His talent is beyond question. He made five Pro Bowls between 2015 and 2020 and would give the Ravens a punishing, one-on-one playmaker they have not had since Anquan Boldin helped them to a Super Bowl victory a decade ago. Hopkins lost seven games to injury in 2021 and served a six-game suspension for PED use last season, but before that, he had played at least 15 games for nine straight seasons. Though DeCosta has said the Ravens could get creative, trading for Hopkins would not be easy. They would be unlikely to offer a first-round pick, and they don’t have a 2023 second-round pick to put in a deal. Even if they mustered enough draft capital to interest the Cardinals, Hopkins’ $19.45 million salary would not slide easily into their budget. The Ravens would have to believe he’s the piece to put them over the top as a contender.

Brandin Cooks: He wanted to be traded during the season, but the Texans could not find a team willing to meet their price. Cooks is still just 29 and has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in six of his nine NFL seasons. He’s not a big target but has played at least 12 games in each of the last eight seasons. If he was a free agent, his resume would put him at the top of the wide receiver market. But the obstacles to acquiring him are similar to those around Hopkins. Cooks signed a $39.8 million extension last April, so he won’t come cheap, and the Ravens don’t have a surplus of second- and third-day picks to offer in trade. If DeCosta wanted to make a big splash going after Cooks, would he already have done it?

Elijah Moore: The 2021 second-round pick requested a trade last season, saying he was underused in the New York Jets’ offense. General manager Joe Douglas said he received calls from interested teams but had no intention of trading his young wide receiver. Moore’s usage increased but did not skyrocket from there; he was targeted just six times over the Jets’ last three games. Could that lead the 22-year-old Moore to renew his trade demand this offseason? He has flashed the big-play potential that excited scouts in the first place and has two years left on his rookie deal, so he would bring a different flavor to a thin market.

Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates a touchdown during a game against the Falcons on Sept. 11 in Atlanta.

Salary-cap casualties

Michael Thomas: The New Orleans Saints could save themselves a chunk of change — a $31.76 million roster bonus for 2024 that becomes guaranteed March 17 — by cutting Thomas, who has played just 10 games over the last three seasons because of ankle and foot injuries. He won’t turn 30 until next month and was the best receiver in football in 2019, so the upside for a new team could be significant. Not to mention the Ravens love signing players who don’t cost them compensatory picks.

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Robert Woods: The Tennessee Titans traded a sixth-round pick to obtain Woods before last season, but he did not produce as hoped for them, catching 53 passes on a team-high 91 targets for just 527 yards and two touchdowns. Though he was never a Hopkins- or Thomas-level star, Woods is just a few years removed from being a far more productive receiver for the Rams. The Titans need to rebuild their offense, and Woods is owed a $13.75 million base salary in 2023, so the math points toward a release. He could provide depth for the Ravens as a modestly priced veteran.

Kenny Golladay: As close to a sure cut as there is in the league, Golladay has given the Giants little return on the four-year, $72 million contract they signed him to before the 2021 season. After establishing himself as a productive deep threat with the Lions, he caught all of six passes for 81 yards in 12 games for the Giants last season. They could save $13.5 million by cutting him, so the decision seems obvious. Golladay has been bad enough that new suitors won’t trip over one another to sign him. But he’s a 6-4 target with multiple 1,000-yard seasons under his belt, so he could be worth a cheap flier.

Adam Thielen: The Minnesota Vikings need to shed salary and could save $13.4 million by releasing their veteran wide receiver. Thielen is five years removed from his last Pro Bowl, but at age 32, he’s still a durable, 6-2 target who caught 14 touchdown passes as recently as 2020. The Ravens reportedly expressed interest in trading for him in 2020, so perhaps they would see him as an experienced complement to Bateman and a 2023 draft pick.

TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) makes a catch against Michigan during the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31 in Glendale, Arizona.

Draft prospects

Quentin Johnston: Several mock drafters, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., have sent Johnston to the Ravens at No. 22 overall. The 6-4, 215-pound TCU star is regarded as the most talented prospect in a weak wide receiver class, with after-the-catch sizzle to match his size. But his college production did not consistently live up to his tools, so it’s fair to wonder if the Ravens would want to use their only pick in the first two rounds on a boom-bust candidate.

Zay Flowers: Here’s another first-round candidate who comes in a very different package from Johnston. The 5-10, 172-pound Boston College star moves beautifully and put up 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns on a bad team with no other playmakers close to his level. His slight frame and propensity for drops are the factors working against him.


Jaxon Smith-Njigba: As a sophomore at Ohio State, he was the most productive pass catcher in an offense that also featured 2022 first-round picks Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Then, a hamstring injury wiped out most of his 2022 season. Smith-Njigba does not project as an exhilarating deep threat, but he makes contested grabs and consistently adds yards after the catch. There’s a good chance he will be available when the Ravens pick in the first round.

Rashee Rice: The 6-2, 203-pound Rice is a powerful receiver who finished his senior season at SMU with 1,344 yards and 10 touchdown catches. He’s not a burner but might offer solid value in the third round if the Ravens go wide receiver there after using their first-round pick on a different position.