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Offseason spotlight: Should Ravens acquire a big-name receiver?

  • By NFL.com
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Streeter Lecka / Getty Images
Joe Flacco (left) relied on Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason as his top receivers during his rookie season.


As part of NFL Network's 32 teams in 32 days series, airing daily on Total Access, NFL.com takes a look at a key question facing each NFL team. NFL Network analysts Solomon Wilcots and Brian Billick discuss the Baltimore Ravens. Do the Ravens need to acquire a big-name receiver to take the next step on offense and aid Joe Flacco's development?

Read their take and then enter the discussion below.


Wilcots: Ravens should sit tight


I think the Ravens have three good receivers in Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams. They do need someone to be more consistent.

Mason is very good. However, coming off a shoulder injury, I wonder how long he can be the guy. He is very reliable, and he's one of the most underrated "clutch" receivers in this league. To me, he's like an older version of Steve Smith.

The problem is the Ravens aren't getting a whole lot of production at several other positions. Tight end Todd Heap fell off last year. Clayton has never really stepped up and made people glad he was a first-round pick. Williams is supposed to be the third-down receiver, but is inconsistent. They have guys who they know can play. Now they just need to go out and do it. Outside of Mason, this will likely be the last year these guys gett a chance to be a contributor.

The Ravens should sit tight at receiver for now. They have guys who can do it. They have guys who can play. I don't think this team should overspend to improve beyond where they're at now. I still think the Ravens are in a pretty good spot. They know that they're a running team that will play great defense and special teams. That's how they will win. Flacco is still a young QB who isn't ready to throw it 35 times a game.

 

Billick: Talent at what cost?


There's never a downside to adding talent. And, there is talent out there.

I think the Ravens are comfortable with their current receiving core, particularly if Demetrius Williams can stay healthy. Derrick Mason is solid, if not at the back end of his career, and a veteran. I think they tried to address the tight end situation a little bit, because depth was an issue. But Todd Heap and newcomer L.J. Smith have both battled injuries. In Heap's case, I think that's been a problem.

The Ravens ran the ball OK last season. They were committed to it, as no one ran the ball more than they did last season. They want to keep that formula, but clearly Joe Flacco has to take on more and the Ravens have to be willing to let him do more of that, like Matt Ryan.

Defensively, I think the Ravens have a real chance to be better, because they'll be getting back key playes like Kelly Greg and Dewan Landry.

No question a player the caliber of Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall would make an impact. This team is built around Flacco, and he's going to be the face of this franchise. Everything is built around him going forward. It will help his development adding talent, but the question is -- at what cost?


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