It’s time to look at another Baltimore Ravens position battle! The Ravens have a tremendous opportunity to have a big bounce-back in the 2022 season with the help of new coaching techniques, returns from injury, critical free agents, and fresh rookies. With training camp inching our way, it’s time to start looking at some expectations we may have going into the season
With all that being said, the Ravens training camp is also an essential piece of position battles, where certain players will shine their brightest. In the most recent episode of Around The Flock, we talked about the center and left guard position battle. In this article, it’s time to talk about other positions.
The first one up for discussion? Wide receivers.
Rashod Bateman is going to be WR1. His skill set is not only being able to be the big body guy who fights for the ball but also a technician of a route runner, speedster ability, and just overall a guy we can trust to be the face of the position on the Ravens team. His rookie stats and film can show you the proof, too.
WR2 at this moment in time is a toss-up.
It could be Devin Duvernay, who is and can be the Ravens’ version of Deebo Samuel or Cordarrelle Patterson, utilizing not only key receiver routes but also as an RB/Jet sweep ball carrier. There is so much you can do with Duvernay at this point with the correct play calling. There’s also a reason he was voted as an All-Pro and Pro Bowler, even if it was as a returner.
The other contender for WR2 at this point would possibly be — and yes, I’m ready for the heat — James Proche II. Even though he didn’t have a stellar first two seasons, and the rest of the fans make it very clear to our faces and Twitter feeds of that fact, he still has a lot of potential to have a breakout season in his third year. He was trying to show us that he’s getting better with his hands and footwork during this off-season, but can it translate to camp and in-game?
I believe Devin Duvernay will win the WR2 slot by the time week one comes around.
The Baltimore Ravens WR3 position battle is going to be heated.
If Duvernay does indeed win the WR2 position, then we’ll see James Proche compete with a young second-year player out of Oklahoma State, Tylan Wallace. Wallace has only played a couple of snaps in the regular season on offense, but has started to become an excellent player on special teams.
Special teams are where many players get going, then, out of nowhere, bloom into something extraordinary. I’ve got a feeling Wallace will be just that. They are going from just two snaps to being a key WR3 making grabs in the open when Bateman and Duvernay are doubled up.
Honestly, I’m tied with these two as WR3 so we can move on to the fourth.
The one and only Alabama legend himself, Slade Bolden. An undrafted free agent, this guy has all the potential to be that diamond in the rough. His time at Alabama was a shadow behind Jameson Williams and John Metchie.
Still, with the coaching and schemes of the Ravens organization, there isn’t any reason this guy can’t show that he will be a key rotational player for this team.
I’m all in on Slade becoming the last or second-to-last wide receiver on the active roster. Some folks in the Ravens fan base believe that Mr. Bolden is the official WR2 of the team, and I’m not saying that he couldn’t be, but I’m comfortable with him being a WR4 or WR5 now. Eventually he could be in that second spot. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What about the position battles for the rest of the Baltimore Ravens?
The next set of guys will be basically of a 6th man or practice squad quality — if they make the team at all. It’s going to be fun to watch them through camp and the preseason, but outside of that have high hopes but low expectations. This list includes:
- Shemar Bridges
- Trevon Clark
- Jaylon Moore
- Makai Polk
- Raleigh Webb
- Devon Williams
Out of all these guys, I’d like to see Jaylon Moore or Makai Polk be added to the practice squad, but only time will tell. Each of these young guys has an opportunity to show that they earn the position they deserve. Training camp is the perfect time to show off.
Some of you may be asking, “what about Binjimen Victor?” Well, I would include him as WR4 or 5, but he was recently placed on the non-football injury list. There isn’t much indication of how long he’ll be out. I had such high hopes for Mr. Victor, but this injury, unfortunately right now, has him on a pending list.
We’re all excited about these competitions, and we’re just days away from the beginning.
My pre-camp final answer to the Ravens WR position battle is as follows the order:
- Rashod Bateman
- Devin Duvernay
- Tylan Wallace/James Proche
- Slade Boldin
- Makai Polk
- Jaylon Moore
- Binjimen Victor(Pending injury timeline)
Enjoy this prediction, tear it apart, whatever you fans need to do! This year is going to be exciting either way. Here’s to an enjoyable 2022-23 Ravens season!