5 WR trade targets for the Baltimore Ravens right now

Who is the best WR trade target for the Baltimore Ravens?

By: Jake Rajala

The Baltimore Ravens don’t have the sexiest wide receiver group without Hollywood Brown heading into the 2022 season. If Rashod Bateman can prove to be a quality WR1 leading up to the season, LJ should still have modest passing production w/ him and TE Mark Andrews. Nonetheless, Jackson could certainly benefit from the arrival of a proven and electric wideout. Hence, I’m going to untwine 5 WR trade targets for the Baltimore Ravens right now.

Curtis Samuel

The explosive wideout Curtis Samuel recorded 851 yds in 2020 and then fell off the end of the earth last season (27 receiving yds in five games). Samuel is certainly a unique athlete, but he clearly doesn’t jell well in the Washington offense. Samuel is still 25 years old and he can be a dynamite profile for many years to come in the right scheme. It would be quite intriguing to see Samuel involved in the Ravens diverse offense, to say the least.

Denzel Mims

Denzel Mims is certainly a polarizing wideout that sits among a talented and crowded WR room. Mims stands behind Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Garrett Wilson, and Braxton Berrios at this point in time. Mims actually had a strong opening day of mini-camp – as reported by Brian Costello of the New York Post. Yet, it may be quite difficult for Mims to come close to unleashing his full potential in the Big Apple. The Giants should be aggressive to acquire Mim’s talent.

Marquez Callaway

The Saints completely changed their WR position this off-season — as they brought in Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave. They also retained the gifted Michael Thomas. They still have the exceptional KR/WR Deonte Harris and the speed-demon Marquez Callaway. With that enunciated, the Saints may be tempted to ship away the WR4/WR5 Callaway — after he ousted 698 yds and 6 TDs last season. The Ravens lost the juice from Brown, so they could help heal the wound by acquiring the young, deep-threat in Callaway.

Sterling Shepard

The Ravens should make a sneaky move by acquiring Sterling Shepard — who has slowly fallen out of the Giants WR picture in the past two seasons. He will be a FA in 2023, so the GMEN may wish to ship him out. The 29-year-old wideout that wouldn’t cost the house (to say the least) could be a fine slot weapon for LJ for 2-3 more seasons.

Jalen Reagor

It’s safe to say that Jalen Reagor (21st pick in the 2020 draft) isn’t as near as scary as Justin Jefferson (22nd pick in the 2020 draft), but he still has some potential. Reagor may not show up in Philly in 2022, but he could be a nice value-pickup and more involved wideout in Baltimore.

Denzel Mims: Player Outlook

What’s the outlook on the Jets WR Denzel Mims?

By: Tom Ayling (@flanker546)

The New York Jets rookie wide receiver out of Baylor University, Denzel Mims, entered the NFL  with size, speed, and a great set of hands. The question for all rookies is, how do they adjust to life in the NFL facing elite defenders each week? I have reviewed the film from his rookie season and will break down what I have seen, and what I think he could be going forward.  

Before getting into what we saw during the season, let’s take a look at his physical characteristics  as measured in the NFL Combine.  

Measurables:  

Age: 23 

Height: 6’3 

Weight: 206 

Arm Length: 33.8” 

Hand size: 9.38” 

Wingspan: 78.5”

NFL Combine Scores/Percentile by Position: 

40 Yard Dash: 4.38 seconds (95 percentile) 

10 yard Split: 1.54 seconds (89 percentile) 

Bench Press: 16 (66 percentile) 

Verticle: 38.5” (88 percentile) 

Broad Jump: 131” (96 percentile) 

Three Cone: 6.66 seconds (94 percentile) 

The Combine scores are certainly impressive; but, as everyone knows, the Combine is simply a  measure of what physical characteristics a player has. Good Combine results do not always equal good NFL production. Mims’ performance simply indicates that his college reputation of size and speed was accurate and could serve him well in the NFL.  

So he looked good at the Combine, so what? Is he any good? The short answer is yes, I do think  he has a bright future in the NFL; but, he needs to improve in some areas to become one of the  best.  

Mims finished the 2020 season with 23 receptions on 45 targets for 357 yards and zero  touchdowns in nine games. He started the season on IR due to a hamstring injury and did not  start until week 7. Let’s break down what I saw on film.  

Great Hands 

Denzel Mims has great hands and a very good catch radius. Throughout the season, we saw him adjust very well to the ball, be it back-shoulder catches, high-pointing the ball, or simply fighting off a defender and making the contested catch. The two best film sessions that show-off his hands were in week 11 and 12 vs the Chargers and Dolphins, respectively. 

In the third quarter of the Chargers game, he had to stretch his arms out overtop of Hayward and  make a great over the shoulder catch on a fade route. Mims’ catch radius and spectacular  concentration to track the ball into his hands is why he is able to make this type of catch, where  many other receivers would not.  

Denzel had four catches in week 12 vs Miami. The first catch on the day was another example of stretching out to make a grab over the middle and continuing for a very good gain. He ran a  crossing route and caught the ball on the run with exceptional concentration. In the same game,  he made a great contested high-point catch over the middle vs zone coverage. In order to make this type of catch on a hard thrown ball, your catching technique needs to be on point. His thumbs and fingertips were together forming a perfect triangle for the tip of the ball to slide into.  This is the difference between making the catch or having the ball simply go right through your hands for an incompletion. 

Footwork 

While Mims has great hands, the one thing that he is lacking is great footwork. When he faces press/man coverage from opposing cornerbacks, he lacks the ability to freeze defenders and gain separation right off the line. Quite often what we see on film is the cornerback sticking with him from the snap of the ball all the way to the end of the play. If you watch players like Calvin  Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons or Michael Thomas with the Saints, you will see their first steps are explosive and almost always make the defender freeze for a half-second before exploding out off of the line and gaining separation. Denzel Mims is very fast and should be able to gain separation better than what we saw in 2020.  

The second area of concern is his lack of precision cuts during route trees. When he is cutting into the middle of the field, what we see from him is a rounded off route instead of dig and go.  Very often the difference between a breakaway run for a touchdown and a good gain on a deep crosser is the ability to make a defender misstep or even fall down when trying to adjust to the change of direction from the receiver. When wide receivers round out a route, it gives the safety or cornerback time to recognize what is happening in front of them and track the receiver without any sudden stops or cuts. Because defenders have to react to any movements the receiver is making, they need time to process what is happening in front of them and change direction accordingly. The speed and suddenness with which the ball carrier can change direction directly equate to the amount of separation he gains.  

Potential 

Entering the film session, I had a basic idea of who I thought he could become. Based on his size and speed, I thought he was a slightly lesser version of D.K. Metcalf. The film from Metcalf’s first season is actually very similar to what Mims showed in terms of catching ability and separation from press coverage. Neither player surprised defenders with their footwork, but both have spectacular hands and better than average speed for their size. The reason the stat sheets look so different is who they had throwing them the ball.  

Final Thoughts 

Denzel Mims has a very bright future ahead of him and has the potential to become one of the top “X” receivers in the NFL. His size, speed, and natural catch ability, already separate him from many other wide receivers in the game today. If he can improve his footwork and route running technique, he could be one of the truly elite receivers in the game.

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