Why the Ravens are no longer an attractive destination for receivers
The Baltimore Ravens used to be a very attractive destination for wide receivers and tight ends who were free agents. When quarterback Joe Flacco was under center, receivers simply wanted to come play with him. Flacco had a big arm and was a very good quarterback who was consistent.
Wide receivers Steve Smith Sr., John Brown, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, Willie Snead, Michael Crabtree, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Jacoby Jones are just some of the receivers that came to the Ravens through free agency. Almost all of them said one of the reasons they came to Baltimore was because Flacco was under center.
Now that quarterback Lamar Jackson is under center, receivers simply do not find Baltimore an attractive destination. It is not all Jackson’s fault. It is just the style the Ravens plan to play with him under center.
The Ravens made it obvious that they will have a new focus on the running attack with Jackson under center. The Ravens ran the ball a lot.
In seven games started, Jackson only attempted 170 passes, which averages to about only 24 passing attempts per game. Now a lot of that was because Jackson was a rookie and excelled in the running game.
Jackson completed only 99 passes, and that includes dump off passes. That still adds up to about 14 completions per game.
When compared to Jackson, Flacco has averaged about 34 passes a game and about 21.5 completions per game. That includes years in which Flacco has played through injuries.
The Ravens simply are not an attractive spot for wide receivers to go to right now. With Flacco, the Ravens always had a legit passing threat. Not to knock on Jackson, but his throwing capability has just not shown that much when he started, and a lot of receivers will be worried to join the Ravens because of that. I think the type of offense that the Ravens plan to use with Jackson will keep most receivers away. That is not saying things will not change.
Right now the Ravens currently have just four receivers on their roster, and only two of them have significant experience. Chris Moore and Willie Snead have the most experience in that group. Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley are both entering their second season with the Ravens. The Ravens were unable to sign any free agent wide receivers so fair in free agency.
I think the Ravens, with their focus shifting to the running game, will have less need for a big time receiver. Moore has shown that he deserves a chance to start and will likely get that chance. The Ravens will also likely draft at least one wide receiver, so we will see how this situation unfolds.