Entering training camp, Jacoby Jones is penciled in as one of the Ravens’ starting wide receivers.
Will Jones still be a starter Week 1 against the Broncos? That depends on what happens throughout camp and preseason.
Jones is part of a heated competition to line up opposite Torrey Smith at wide receiver. David Reed, Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams, and Aaron Mellette are among the receivers battling Jones for a starting spot.
Jones enters camp with the edge after his breakout playoff run. However, the Ravens want to see if Jones has become a dependable receiver, or just a receiver with explosive speed. In six NFL seasons, Jones has never had more than 51 receptions or 562 yards receiving. The Ravens want more from their No. 2 target next season, regardless of who it is.
When Jones competed on Dancing with the Stars, his routines were judged. During training camp, Jones’ judges will be the Ravens’ coaches.
"He is going to get more opportunities,’’ said offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, speaking about Jones during minicamp. "He has the ability to do it. He can catch. He can run. Obviously, he is still going to serve our special teams and serve them well. Then obviously, we will use him, certainly, as a big part of our offense as well.’’
The Ravens already know Jones is an electrifying returner. He had a 108-yard kickoff return in the Super Bowl, and he led the NFL with a 30.7-yard average on kick returns.
Speed is not an issue for Jones. The next step for Jones is to improve his route running, and to become a target that gets open more frequently.
Whenever he scores a touchdown in 2013, Jones is certain to have a dance routine ready. The Ravens hope to see plenty of them.