Do Ravens need to shop for a wide receiver?

Do Ravens need to shop for a wide receiver?
July 22, 2013, 9:00 am
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How will the Ravens prep for training camp?

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver LaQuan Williams (15) tries to make a catch past cornerback Josh Victorian (42) during training camp at the Baltimore Ravens training facility.

(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

The Ravens’ wide receivers are about to go under the microscope.

The competition to start at wide receiver opposite Torrey Smith is wide open. Jacoby Jones is the frontrunner to win the job. However, at least five other receivers are in the mix, including Tandon Doss, Aaron Mellette, David Reed, Deonte Thompson, and LaQuan Williams. The battle among them will be intense when training camp begins this week.

If no wide receiver steps up over the next few weeks, the Ravens could shop for a veteran before the regular season begins. Free agent wide receivers currently on the market include Early Doucet, Brandon Lloyd, Laurent Robinson, and Brandon Stokley. General manager Ozzie Newsome has shown a willingness to add veteran receivers in the past like Lee Evans and T. J. Houshmandzadeh.

However, the Ravens would prefer that the players among their present group step forward. There is a reason why receivers like Doucet, Lloyd, Robinson, and Stokley are still available. All of them have flaws. Doucet was a disappointment with the Cardinals. Robinson has had concussion issues. Lloyd only lasted one season with each of his last two teams. And Stokley is 37 years old.

Both Smith and Jones made huge plays during the Ravens’ run to a Super Bowl. If they pick up where they left off, maybe the Ravens’ offense will adjust smoothly to the loss of Anquan Boldin.

However, there is no doubt that wide receiver is the Ravens’ biggest offensive question mark heading into camp. If the Ravens’ coaches decide they need more quality depth, Newsome may look elsewhere for help.

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