By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
1:45 PM EDT, June 14, 2013
The Ravens aren't planning to pursue acquiring a veteran wide receiver at this time, according to league sources.
That includes free agent wide receivers like Brandon Lloyd and Austin Collie.
The Ravens could always revisit the situation later on, though.
The Ravens will continue to monitor the free agent market, but their primary focus is on evaluating the wide receivers currently on the roster and giving them every opportunity to prove themselves.
Besides Lloyd and Collie, who worked out for the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers this week, other free agents include Randy Moss, Chaz Schilens, Chad Johnson, Laurent Robinson, Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney and Mike Sims-Walker. It's a thin group of left-over receivers.
The Ravens' hope is that at least a few of their receivers grow into expanded roles after the offseason trade of three-time Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers.
Jacoby Jones is currently considered the starting wide receiver opposite Torrey Smith, the designated No. 1 wide receiver.
Jones caught 30 passes for 406 yards and one touchdown and made the Pro Bowl as a kick returner last season, but the Dancing With the Stars third-place finisher will face competition from several other candidates. That includes Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson, David Reed and LaQuan Williams.
“Jacoby right now is the No. 2 guy,” receivers coach Jim Hostler said. “So right now, Torrey and Jacoby are starting, so that’s definitely going to be more than Jacoby did last year.
“It wasn’t like last year when we had two guys that were the two frontrunners and everybody is playing for that third and fourth spot. Now, everybody is playing for that second spot.”
So far, Hostler is impressed.
"It’s been good," Hostler said. "They’re working hard. There’s a great competition. Obviously, as we move forward, the competition is going to get closer to training camp and through training camp, it’s going to get closer to the season, and that’s going to pick it up a notch. And all those guys had an opportunity to compete for that job.”
In particular, speedster Deonte Thompson, a former undrafted free agent out of Florida, has stood out.
"Well, he’s extremely competitive," Hostler said. "He’s durable. He can grind all day. He’s a great route-runner. He’s a finisher. Those are all exciting things.”
Boldin caught 65 passes for 920 yards last season, but is more of a possession type receiver who used body control and muscle to outleverage defensive backs.
The Ravens have faster receivers than Boldin, including Jones, but none with his skill and experience.
“Speed is always a factor in this game, but it’s got to be able to play," Hostler said. "It’s not just as easy as how fast you can run, obviously, because then everybody would be the fastest guys out there. We’re fortunate right now. We’ve got a few fast guys that can play, and that’s what it’s really all about.
"We had fast guys last year that could run faster than Anquan, but they couldn’t play better than him. All of that adds that up to a football player, and that’s really what it’s all about. We’re just fortunate that a couple of those guys that are football players happen to be fast.”