The Jacksonville Jaguars' new regime under coach Gus Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell created a scheme that allowed their young receivers to grow into one of the game's most feared groups after just 24 games together. On Sunday, that will stand in contrast with the Ravens' group of largely street free agents left in the absence of injured veteran Steve Smith Sr. and first-round pick Breshad Perriman.
Perriman is eyeing a starting job and is hoping to make an immediate impact as a deep threat and otherwise following an offseason where he flashed playmaking skills and explosiveness along with a tendency to lose his concentration and drop passes.
Ten years since last picking a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft, the Ravens used the 26th overall selection on Central Florida's Breshad Perriman, considered one of the fastest players in the draft.
As they prepare for this year's draft, which gets underway with Thursday's first round, the Ravens seemingly have more needs on offense than defense. They want another running back and a tight end and they are thin on outside targets for quarterback Joe Flacco. If there was a draft where the Ravens would target offense, this would seemingly be it.
The Ravens' inability to draft and develop an elite wide receiver is one of the few blemishes on general manager Ozzie Newsome's resume. But last year's NFL rookie class is changing the perception of drafting a receiver.
As general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens put the finishing touches on their draft board in preparation for Thursday's 2013 NFL draft, there is a new class of collegiate prospects who have smitten Ravens scouts, coaches and front-office decision-makers. The scouting process is long, tiring and taxing, but each spring, there are players like Yanda who become the object of the Ravens' eye and other NFL teams.
While doing my homework on the Ravens and their history in the NFL draft, I spent a little time exploring our Ravens draft database (sorry for the shameless plug, but it's pretty neat feature if you haven't checked it out). In no particular order, here are some trends and random factoids from the 126 picks they've made in 16 years.
The Orioles lost to the Blue Jays, 13-0, on Wednesday night. It was their most lopsided shutout loss since July 4, 2006. ... The Orioles introduced first-round draft pick Dylan Bundy to Baltimore during the game. ... The Orioles dealt Michael Gonzalez to the Rangers in a waiver trade for reliever Pedro Strop. ... Rookie Tyrod Taylor, who will get the majority of the snaps in Thursday night's preseason game in Atlanta, is out to prove he's a viable No. 2 quarterback. ... Maryland tailback D.J. Adams and offensive lineman Cody Blue were suspended for Monday night's season opener against Miami for violating team rules.