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https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-most-improved-receiving-corps-following-free-agency-and-the-2021-nfl-draft-

 

The Ravens’ WR2 in 2020 was some combination of Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin. Lamar Jackson hasn’t been the most accurate quarterback in the world, and Baltimore’s passing offense has been unimaginative at times, but the receiving corps hasn't exactly been bursting with talent. The Ravens have set out to change that this offseason.

Baltimore's 2021 NFL Draft yielded Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman and Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace. Both of those receivers were highly productive over the past two seasons at their respective schools. In fact, Bateman and Wallace joined Alabama’s DeVonta Smith as the only three wide receivers in this class to average at least 3.0 receiving yards per route run in each of the past two seasons.

Bateman, a top-20 player on PFF’s Big Board, is particularly interesting in this offense. He has the catch radius that you want to pair with Jackson and is one of the better technicians in this class when it comes to his release package and route running. He can make an early impact both in the slot and out wide.

The Ravens also added Sammy Watkins in free agency, a somewhat forgotten man after several underwhelming and injury-impacted seasons in Kansas City. When healthy, he has shown he can be a No. 1 option in the passing game. Watkins was an important part of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run in 2019, with over 200 receiving yards across the AFC championship game and Super Bowl. It just all comes down to whether he can stay healthy.

It’s shaping up to be a much more well-rounded receiving corps in 2021 that isn’t so reliant on Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews.

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Spreading the ball around will be the key this year. Everyone on the field needs to be a threat. Lamar needs to trust his eyes and arm.

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Just now, M.10.E said:

Spreading the ball around will be the key this year. Everyone on the field needs to be a threat. Lamar needs to trust his eyes and arm.

While I agree with that concept generally, just looking at those numbers with no outside biases or knowledge would lead me to believe that it's better to concentrate targets on a WR1. If I had to choose, I would rather be like the offenses in the high concentration group than the more evenly distributed group.

Important caveat - I assume injuries play a large part in shaping the total share of targets in an offense.

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Looks like Proche is a goner, barring training camp injuries. Hollywood, Watkins, Duvernay, Bateman, and Wallace are all locks to make the roster, and Wallace basically looks like a more dynamic version of Proche anyways. If we carry 6 WR's then I'd have to imagine Boykin gets the last spot just based on his blocking ability alone. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, sp6488 said:

While I agree with that concept generally, just looking at those numbers with no outside biases or knowledge would lead me to believe that it's better to concentrate targets on a WR1. If I had to choose, I would rather be like the offenses in the high concentration group than the more evenly distributed group.

Important caveat - I assume injuries play a large part in shaping the total share of targets in an offense.

If we had a Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Deandre Hopkins, Keenan Allen level player I'd agree. The gap between Hollywood, Watkins, Bateman isn't anywhere near the gap those teams have.

Edited by M.10.E
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1 hour ago, M.10.E said:

If we had a Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Deandre Hopkins, Keenan Allen level player I'd agree. The gap between Hollywood, Watkins, Bateman isn't anywhere near the gap those teams have.

Of course. I was solely making a comment about what takeaway one makes purely by looking at those numbers as presented. 

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1 hour ago, SalvadorsDeli said:

Looks like Proche is a goner, barring training camp injuries. Hollywood, Watkins, Duvernay, Bateman, and Wallace are all locks to make the roster, and Wallace basically looks like a more dynamic version of Proche anyways. If we carry 6 WR's then I'd have to imagine Boykin gets the last spot just based on his blocking ability alone. 

Proche is the only one who may be able to be snuck onto the PS as well. 

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Posted (edited)

 

Sums up my thoughts in a much better way than I could. We don't try to pass outside, and when we do we're horrible at it. More on the players than the "scheme".

 

The offense is THIS good while having this glaring flaw. Just need to become league average at throwing outside and we'll be unreal.

Edited by M.10.E
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Marquise Brown has become a really good receiver for us. He stretches defenses, wins at every level, produces when we need him most, the rapport with Lamar is there, even breaks a few plays you don't see coming with his YAC ability. In general, he's a down to down weapon and a playmaker that must be accounted for. It's easy to picture him in another offense being that consistent 1,000-1,200 yard WR. All that said..., he really isn't the same player we saw at Oklahoma pre Lisfranc injury. 

Hollywood is performing the way he is with his speed/burst still being at about 85-90% of what it was at his peak. On his big plays in his the NFL we've seen numbers in the 20 MPH range. Which is obviously still really fast, but in college Marquise was living in that 21+ MPH territory. Which would be the difference between a Tyrell Williams type speed threat, and a Tyreek Hill one.

Maybe it's the additional weight he claims to have put on slowing him down.(No one knows these guys' real weight anymore once they get off those combine scales, you can just go off what they say and then try to gauge it with how they look.). Which he may view as a necessity to protect him and prevent further injury at the Pro level. However, he's also just not playing with the same fortitude he once did. He's still going well out of his way to avoid contact. Even dropping down at times when he might've been able to slip a tackle or two for a massive gain- like he did in college. 

I mean we knew the risks involved when we drafted him. It's not a coincidence that he was available so much later in the 1st Round compared to other speed freaks that have entered the draft in recent years. What he'd look like post injury and his likely steady existence as a sub 180 pound 5'9 receiver were both major concerns for teams. We took on that risk to chase the playmaking WR that had alluded us for an eternity in Baltimore. So far, it's worked out. Like I said, he's been a really good WR for us. In a passing offense/system that quite frankly sucks, and with a QB who is still developing as a consistent and accurate thrower. You could even argue that his 'Cautious enough to ensure max longevity but not cautious enough to prevent high level play' approach could be smart, I guess. 

Wouldn't it be amazing though, if we did get that peak Hollywood back in Year 3? If the combination of more distance from his initial injury, comfortability at the Pro level, the new WR coaches, the natural athletic growth from 22 Y/O to 23 Y/O, and just the maturation process in general gave us that truly dominant/best version of Marquise Brown. Right as we add another beast of a weapon in Rashod Bateman?....

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, DreamKid said:

Marquise Brown has become a really good receiver for us. He stretches defenses, wins at every level, produces when we need him most, the rapport with Lamar is there, even breaks a few plays you don't see coming with his YAC ability. In general, he's a down to down weapon and a playmaker that must be accounted for. It's easy to picture him in another offense being that consistent 1,000-1,200 yard WR. All that said..., he really isn't the same player we saw at Oklahoma pre Lisfranc injury. 

Hollywood is performing the way he is with his speed/burst still being at about 85-90% of what it was at his peak. On his big plays in his the NFL we've seen numbers in the 20 MPH range. Which is obviously still really fast, but in college Marquise was living in that 21+ MPH territory. Which would be the difference between a Tyrell Williams type speed threat, and a Tyreek Hill one.

Maybe it's the additional weight he claims to have put on slowing him down.(No one knows these guys' real weight anymore once they get off those combine scales, you can just go off what they say and then try to gauge it with how they look.). Which he may view as a necessity to protect him and prevent further injury at the Pro level. However, he's also just not playing with the same fortitude he once did. He's still going well out of his way to avoid contact. Even dropping down at times when he might've been able to slip a tackle or two for a massive gain- like he did in college. 

I mean we knew the risks involved when we drafted him. It's not a coincidence that he was available so much later in the 1st Round compared to other speed freaks that have entered the draft in recent years. What he'd look like post injury and his likely steady existence as a sub 180 pound 5'9 receiver were both major concerns for teams. We took on that risk to chase the playmaking WR that had alluded us for an eternity in Baltimore. So far, it's worked out. Like I said, he's been a really good WR for us. In a passing offense/system that quite frankly sucks, and with a QB who is still developing as a consistent and accurate thrower. You could even argue that his 'Cautious enough to ensure max longevity but not cautious enough to prevent high level play' approach could be smart, I guess. 

Wouldn't it be amazing though, if we did get that peak Hollywood back in Year 3? If the combination of more distance from his initial injury, comfortability at the Pro level, the new WR coaches, the natural athletic growth from 22 Y/O to 23 Y/O, and just the maturation process in general gave us that truly dominant/best version of Marquise Brown. Right as we add another beast of a weapon in Rashod Bateman?....

Yeah I think the addition of Bateman and Watkins/Wallace, along with Andrews being the known engine within of the offense, will prove big dividends for Hollywood this season.

We know he will continue to be force fed opportunities, but teams and players respect talent. Watkins has burned enough players and teams (within his inconsistency) that he will be respected to draw away those #1 corners and/or safety brackets on occasion. He’s the Jadeveon Clowney of WR talents, he’s inconsistent and hasn’t lived up to his billing nor his gifts but since they exist he has to be respected enough.

Add in Bateman, who could provide a rookie Mandrews type of impact and teams won’t be able to divert the same attention to Hollywood and while his targets might not actually increase all that much due to the added competition for targets, I think simply having more threats abound will allow him to increase his catch% from something like the forcefed 58% of last season to something closer to the 64.8% he had in his rookie campaign. Likely also increasing his space to work with for YAC and thus increasing his YPR from 13.3 to something closer to 14-14.5 YPR. Could easily see in a 17 game season, Hollywood clear something like 70 recs for 1000+ yds and 8 TDs.

While Bateman and Watkins (and/or Wallace) together should contribute to somewhere around 1400-1600 yds receiving IMO.

Edited by diamondbull424
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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, M.10.E said:

I have very high hopes for this offense if Stanley/Boyle come back healthy.

My only reservations on offense are

A. I honestly think Villanueva is washed, so between him and Phillips (if he doesn't make a big leap) I could see us fielding a below average RT again

B. If Andrews goes down for any extended period of time, we don't really have another TE on the roster that we're (at least yet) comfortable referring to as a "receiving threat". Yeah, Boyle is kind of underrated in that aspect, but let's not kid ourselves, catching passes 15-20 yards downfield consistently just isn't his game - especially coming off that ACL now.

Obviously there are a lot of worse positions to be in as an offense heading into an NFL season, but that's what I'll be keeping an eye on throughout preseason. Hopefully AV has some juice left (or at worst our scheme continues to "hide" poor RT play) and someone of the Oliver/Wolf/Breeland group emerges as a legit pass catching threat.

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