So it looks like the Baltimore Ravens finally brought themselves in a new wide receiver. After he was released by the Oakland Raiders, Baltimore chose to make Seth Roberts the newest Raven, and just the third target at the wide receiver position on the current 90-man roster who has ever caught a pass in the NFL before.
After releasing Michael Crabtree and allowing John Brown to sign elsewhere in free agency, the Ravens have exercised…let’s say patience in addressing the wide receiver position. The only players remaining from the previous season who had had a role in the offense were Willie Snead, their primary slot receiver, and Chris Moore, who was their number four.
In addition to Snead and Moore, they had a pair of rookie mid-round draft picks on the roster who hardly played and rarely even dressed in Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley. They also had Quincy Adeboyejo, another player who had never caught a pass, but it appears that they never retained the exclusive rights free agent.
Roberts was originally an undrafted free agent brought in by the Raiders in 2014, and had spent his first five seasons in the NFL with them. That first season, however, was as a member of the practice squad. Over the past four seasons, he has played in 62 games, starting 25, though never more than seven in one season.
Over the course of his career, he has caught 158 passes on 261 targets for 1826 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 11.6 yards per reception. Last season, he caught 45 of 64 targets for 494 yards with two touchdowns.
You might recall that he had a key 39-yard reception, over a late-leaping Morgan Burnett, in the Raiders’ victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. He caught a season-high five passes in that game for a season-high 76 receiving yards. He only caught five passes in one other game, and only had at least 50 receiving yards in one other game as well.
If the season were to start today, the Ravens’ offense would feature Seth Roberts, Chris Moore, and Willie Snead as their top three wide receivers. But Baltimore plans to be a run-heavy offense under Greg Roman as offensive coordinator in Lamar Jackson’s first full season at quarterback.
Both Head Coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Eric DeCosta emphasized that they would prioritize blocking ability in the wide receivers they bring in this year, and that is one area in which Roberts can be an asset. Moore is also a capable blocker at the position.