After starting wide receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead IV were pulled after one series in the Ravens’ 33-7 preseason home victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 9, the second group that came on featured Chris Moore and two rookies, Jordan Lasley and Janarion Grant.
That Lasley, a fifth-round draft pick, and Grant, an undrafted free agent, came in ahead of veteran teammates Breshad Perriman and DeVier Posey might have raised eyebrows among fans, but the rookie duo relished the opportunity.
“It’s just a testament to our hard work,” Lasley said recently. “We’ve been coming out to practice every day with a positive attitude, and we’ve been coming out here working, and it’s showing in the games and practices as well.”
Said Grant: “I’ve just got to keep working one day at a time. I never get ahead of myself or think too much of myself. Every day, it’s one day at a time and one play at a time. That’s what I’m thinking.”
The young wideouts had differing levels of success against Los Angeles. Grant caught two passes for 36 yards, leading to field goals by Justin Tucker and Kaare Vedvik in the first and second quarters, respectively.
“I really appreciate those guys believing in me,” said Grant, who ranks second on the team with 42 receiving yards in two preseason games. “I’m trying to showcase my talent and see what I can put on the field and on film.”
Lasley, on the other hand, did not catch a throw on two targets. He has one catch for 14 yards this preseason but said he remains optimistic that he can help the offense.
“As a receiver, you always want to get the ball and you always want more than one or two targets,” he said. “Whenever the ball comes my way, it’s up to me to make a play. I’m just trying to seize every opportunity that I’m given.”
Where Grant and Lasley stand in the receivers’ pecking order could be evident when the Ravens play the Colts in Indianapolis on Monday night. Regardless of what happens, Grant said he and Lasley understand what is expected of them.
“You’re still a rookie, and you’ve still got to get to know everything because you don’t know what type of situation is going to come up,” he said. “You’ve just got to know that and do well. This is the big leagues now. You’ve got to be on your p’s and q’s. That’s your job. So every day, you’ve got to come out here and work on whatever you need to work on.”