I watched the Baltimore Ravens first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles twice. I was looking for a player that really stood out.
LaQuan Williams is that player.
Williams, an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Maryland, was not a prolific receiver in college. He only had 33 receptions in his four-year college career.
He was primarily a special teams player for Maryland, but he was very impressive playing wide receiver in the first preseason game. Against the Eagles, Williams had three receptions for 46 yards, second only to Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta.
Williams may be a long shot to make the team, but if he continues to perform at a high level he might force the Ravens to keep him. The Ravens receiving corps is deep but has a lot of unproven talent.
Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans are the only receivers on the Ravens’ roster that have proven NFL track records. Other receivers I expect to make the team are David Reed, Marcus Smith, Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss. Torrey Smith and Doss are both rookies, and Reed and Marcus Smith have been used primarily as special teams players. None of those players have catches in regular-season action.
Marcus Smith may be the odd man out. He is a good special teams player, but is going into his fourth season with the Ravens and has yet to develop into a receiver.
That said, Williams just needs to go out and play well every day. It is very hard for an undrafted rookie free agent to make a football team. Williams needs to show the Ravens that they need him on the team.