Kirk, Ridley, or Sutton? Which Receiver Should the Ravens Draft?
The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a number one receiver yet again. With the injuries to Jeremy Maclin and the major disappointment Breshad Perriman was this season, it is very likely the Ravens go after one of the top three receivers in the upcoming NFL Draft: Christian Kirk, Calvin Ridley, and Courtland Sutton. But which one is the best option for the Ravens?Christian Kirk
Kirk, a junior at Texas A&M University, stands at 5’11 and weighs in at 200 lbs. This past season he caught 71 passes for 919 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kirk also ran for 31 yards on four attempts. Also a kick and punt returner, Kirk returned 22 kicks for 490 yards and one touchdown and 10 punts for 191 yards and a touchdown.
Often compared to New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr., Kirk is a speedy route runner that has big play ability. He can turn a simple four yard slant into a 40+ yard score.
Not to mention, Kirk is a scary return man. During his three year career at Texas A&M, Kirk had a return average of 21.8 on kickoffs and 22 on punts. He also had six career punt return touchdowns and one kick return touchdown.
Kirk will most likely be a late first round/early second round pick in the draft. Although the Ravens could definitely use his big play talent, another short, speedy receiver is the last thing they need.
Calvin Ridley is a 6’1, 190 lbs junior from the Univeristy of Alabama. This past season, Ridley caught 63 passes for 967 yards and five touchdowns.
Compared to fellow Crimson Tide alum, Julio Jones, Ridley is the most admired receiver in this class. Likely to be an early to mid first round pick, Ridley is one of the better route runners and has the ability to go up and win those 50/50 balls.
It would be a blessing if Ridley somehow fell to the Ravens at 16, but sadly it’s not looking as likely. The Ravens would love to land Calvin Ridley, but he is most likely going to be taken in the first 12 picks.
Courtland Sutton, a redshirt junior, is a 6’4, 215 lb star from Southern Methodist University. Catching 62 passes for 1085 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, Although Ridley is the most beloved receiver in the draft (mostly because he’s from Alabama), Sutton is what NFL teams love. A big bodied, physical receiver.
Compared to Dallas Cowboys’ falling star, Dez Bryant, Sutton has shown he will be a force in the NFL. Although he does not have the breakaway speed that Kirk and Ridley have, Sutton does have the ability to go up and catch the ball with a corner in his face.
Sutton is most likely going in the first round, but as of right now it’s unsure where exactly. Some mock drafts have him in the top 10, while others have him between 25-32. If he’s still on the board, the Ravens would be fools not to take him. Sutton looks like the perfect complimentary piece to speedster Mike Wallace.
If I were in GM Ozzie Newsome’s place, I would snag either Ridley or Sutton if they fell to the 16th pick. In my opinion, Kirk would not succeed in this Ravens offense, as there are too many receivers like him already on the roster.
If I were to choose one out of the three to be a Raven, it would have to be Sutton. He is the physical, possession receiver that the Ravens desperately need. They already have a barn full of speedy receivers in Wallace, Maclin, Perriman, and Chris Moore.
In the likelihood that all three are taken before the Ravens’ selection, they have to go with the best player on the board, even if it’s another defensive player.
I’d love to hear your opinion on which receiver the Ravens should take, or if they should even draft one in the first round.