The Baltimore Ravens will have a number of positions to watch at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. One of those positions is wide receiver. Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke about Jeremy Butler, Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro as young receivers during his end of the year press conference. Torrey Smith is set to become a free agent if the Ravens don’t sign him before March. Steve Smith Sr. had an outstanding year but he will be 36 years old in May.
This year’s draft class is full of wide receivers that can impact the game in a variety of ways. Amari Cooper, Kevin White and DeVante Parker are likely to be gone by the time the Ravens are on the board in the first round. Here is the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine Ravens WR watch list:
Jaelen Strong, Arizona State. Strong is a big, physical receiver that projects as a possession receiver in the NFL. Strong isn’t the kind of receiver that will wow anyone with speed but he can use his size to create separation and be a force in the middle of the field. He has strong hands and will make the contested catch. His ability to climb the ladder to go up and make contested catch makes him a legitimate red zone threat.
Devin Smith, Ohio State. Smith is a burner that will consistently stretch the field. There may not be a receiver in this draft when it comes to tracking the ball over his shoulder. As Emory Hunt of Footballgameplan.com said, “Smith has the ability to dip his shoulder very well to avoid the defender’s attempt to redirect him at the line or within his route.” Defenders will play off of Smith because of his pure speed. Defenders will have problems covering him if he can sell his routes, making them all look the same. Smith will run a very fast 40 at the Combine but it is important to note that his speed translates to the field. He is constantly behind defenders.
Phillip Dorsett, Miami. Dorsett is said to be the fastest receiver at the Combine. He was able to use his speed to run by defenders when running the post route. The speed also helped him to get yards after the catch. Dorsett would also help out in the return game for the Ravens. He can win from the slot or outside and is a big play waiting to happen.
Breshad Perriman, Central Florida. Perriman is a unique blend of height, weight and speed. There has been a buzz about him recently. Perriman can further enhance that if he runs well at the Combine and tests well in the jumps. He is the son of former Detroit Lions receiver Brett Perriman. Breshad is still raw when it comes to the receiver position but he has big play potential that will likely be intriguing to the Ravens.
Antwan Goodley, Baylor. Steve Smith Sr. is nearing the end of his career and Goodley would be a viable replacement. He says that he patterns his game after Smith Sr. Both of these players are receivers with a running back’s body. Goodley is able to instantly convert to a running back after catching the ball. Some may question whether or not he ran enough pro style routes in the offense at Baylor. Goodley can take a step towards proving that he can run routes during the field work this week.
Wildcard: Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma. Green-Beckham is a physical specimen. At 6-6, 225 pounds, Beckham has the stride of a world class 400 meter runner. Beckham is a vertical threat when he is able to stay free from getting jammed at the line of scrimmage. The physical aspect of Green-Beckham as a prospect is not the problem. He has some baggage that will make some teams shy away from drafting him. It will be crucial for him to interview extremely well at the Combine.
Don’t Forget: Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas. Lewis is a player that attacks the ball in the air. He is able to use his height to make contested catches on the sideline. Lewis shined at the Senior Bowl and will need to run in the high 4.4 to 4.5 range to help his draft status.
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