With training camp beginning next week, we’ll take a look at a position group for the 2017 Ravens every day as they aim to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Projected depth chart:
WR – Jeremy Maclin, Chris Moore, Michael Campanaro, Griff Whalen, Kenny Bell, Quincy Adeboyejo
WR – Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Keenan Reynolds, Chris Matthews, Tim White, Tim Patrick, C.J. Board
INJURED RESERVE – Aaron Bailey
Why to be impressed: The Ravens having two former 1,000-yard receivers on their roster isn’t all that out of the ordinary, but both — Maclin and Wallace — being under the age of 31 is a rarity in these parts. There is no shortage of speed with Wallace, Perriman, and Moore in the mix, so stretching the field shouldn’t be a problem for quarterback Joe Flacco and the passing game.
Why to be concerned: Baltimore is counting on Maclin to be a major factor trying to replace half of their overall receiving production from 2016, but he’s coming off a down season and injuries have often nagged him over his career, something that doesn’t figure to get better as he gets older. The Ravens are lacking a red-zone threat with great size at this position, a void magnified by the uncertainty at tight end.
2017 outlook: Ozzie Newsome had no choice but to sign Maclin when he became available in June as the Ravens would have been crazy to try to put all hope in Perriman’s development after the departures of Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken. They likely still need Perriman to pop if this offense wants to be anything better than middle of the road, but Maclin should fill the void in the intermediate portion of the field.
Prediction: The Ravens won’t have a single 1,000-yard receiver, but Maclin, Wallace, and Perriman will each catch five or more touchdowns in 2017.