The competition to be the Ravens’ No. 2 wide receiver is wide open. So here’s the question. Who will step up and take it?
The candidates are Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson, David Reed, Tommy Streeter, and Aaron Mellette. It’s a crowded race.
The final decision on which receiver lines up opposite Torrey Smith was not made at this week’s minicamp. Nor is it likely to be settled early in training camp.
Right now, Jones is the leader, based on his experience and his stellar play during the Ravens’ Super Bowl run. However, wide receivers coach Jim Hostler made it clear Wednesday that nothing had been guaranteed to Jones.
``As all of this plays out, Jacoby is in a battle with Tandon, D. T. (Thompson), and David, and Tommy – all of those guys, Aaron Mellette,’’ said Hostler. ``All of those guys are battling for that second, third, and fourth spot, and it’s real close. It wasn’t like that last year when we had two guys that were the two front-runners and everybody is playing for that third and fourth spot. Now everybody is playing for that second spot.’’
How well the Ravens adjust to losing Anquan Boldin is an unknown heading into 2013. Even when Boldin did not make catches he demanded attention from opposing defenses, which helped the rest of the receiving corps.
If no receivers pick up the slack for Boldin, general manager Ozzie Newsome may go shopping for a veteran wide receiver. Newsome has done that before, bringing in receivers like T. J. Houshmandzadeh and Lee Evans during previous seasons.
For now, the Ravens are content to let the battle play out. However, a winner is far from being declared.