The Ravens will have tough decisions to make at wide receiver once they open training camp.
The quartet of Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, and Jacoby Jones leads a wide receiver corps that looks much deeper than last season. Behind those four, others battling for roster spots and playing time will include Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams, Jeremy Butler, and rookie Michael Campanaro.
Butler, a 6-foot-2, 218-pound undrafted rookie from Tennessee-Martin, has been impressive during OTA’s and minicamps. The Ravens like Butler’s size and ability to make contested catches. Butler would love to be the next undrafted rookie receiver to make a splash, following in the footsteps of Brown, who led the Ravens in touchdowns last season with seven.
Campanaro is a seventh-round pick with intriguing potential as a slot receiver. Listed at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Campanaro is a local product from River Hill (Maryland) high school with sure hands and the ability to change direction quickly. The Ravens traded into the seventh round to pluck Campanaro, who can also return punts. The Ravens see Campanaro as someone who could develop into a dynamic slot receiver in two or three years. Perhaps that will make him too valuable to part with this early in his career.
Thompson and Williams may need to have special training camps to stay on the roster, but they are used to being on the bubble and could respond to the pressure. Meanwhile, injuries can change scenarios in a heartbeat, creating opportunities that were not anticipated.
Camp opens in less than three weeks. When it does, the battles the competition at wide receiver will be worth watching.