The Baltimore Ravens have a great offense, for the regular season, most of the time. It’s helped propel them toward the top of the power rankings for the past two and a half years, and they’re frequently cited as a Super Bowl favorite. But the lingering question remains—do they have the passing game to make a push into the playoffs?
That was the focus of the 24-hour sports news networks following the Ravens’ Divisional Round loss to the Buffalo Bills lats week, after finally notching their first postseason victory in three trips in the Lamar Jackson era. And it was the driving force behind the questions faced by head coach John Harbaugh in his post-season press conference earlier this week.
While much of the line of questioning was geared toward the quarterback himself, Jackson, and what he can do to bring his game to another level in the passing game, another major area of focus was the weapons that he had around him, and whether or not he has enough.
In spite of the fact that the Ravens have invested a first-round pick and two third-round picks in the wide receiver position over the course of the past two drafts, the young corps hasn’t yet developed into a major threat. Some of that is on Jackson, some on the receivers themselves. Parsing what is what is the difficult part.
Another part of the problem? The Ravens have not been good at scouting and drafting wide receivers over the course of their existence. Their most successful players at the position have been veterans that they brought in through free agency or trade, such as Anquan Boldin, who helped them win a Super Bowl in 2012.
“If we can bring an ‘Anquan Boldin’ in here, let’s do it. Let’s do it!“, Harbaugh said during his press conference when questioned about the need for additional help at wide receiver. “Now, can we afford it and move the resources from other things that we need? That’s the details that we have to figure out”.
Among the top wide receivers who will be available on the free agent market this year, assuming that they do not get re-signed or given a tag, are Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Ravens are expected to have some cap space, but they also have pending deals to get done—such as with Jackson. That said, Harbaugh isn’t going out of his way to claim that the Ravens need help in this area.
“I’m not going to even worry about convincing anybody to do something. I’m not going to beg anybody to be here”, he said. “If you’re all about stats and numbers and your stat line and how many balls you catch … If that’s all you care for, then there’s a lot of other teams you can play for and I look forward to lining up against you”.