Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun
June 6, 2013
Jacoby Jones was as big of a reason as anybody that the Ravens won the Super Bowl, as he made so many big plays both as a wide receiver and a return man. But with Anquan Boldin now in San Francisco, Jones will have to prove that he can have the same production as the No. 2 receiver, something he didn't do consistently as a member of the Houston Texans. Until he does, the Ravens are keeping their options open opposite Smith (pictured above).
"All of those guys are battling for that second, third and fourth spot, and it's all real close," wide receivers coach Jim Hostler said last month. "It wasn't like last year when we had two guys that were the two front-runners and everybody is playing for that third and fourth spot. Now, everybody is playing for that second spot."
"Those guys" include one rookie (Aaron Mellette), two players in their second season (Deonte Thompson and Tommy Streeter), two in their third (Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams) and one in his fourth (David Reed). Combined, those six players have 21 career catches and one receiving touchdown.
Boldin, meanwhile, caught 65 balls for 921 yards and four touchdowns last season, and he added 22 catches and four scores in the postseason.
The Ravens believe in their young receivers -- Thompson, in particular, appears primed for a breakout -- but until one or two of them emerge, the questions about whether the Ravens were wise to have traded Boldin will persist.