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Deonte Thompson getting noticed in Ravens receiver competition

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

The Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the 49ers earlier this offseason, leaving them to sort through the rest of their roster to find receivers to play alongside Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones this offseason.

Boldin led the team in both catches and receiving yards last season, so there’s a big hole to fill even if Torrey Smith takes the expected step up after catching 99 passes over his first two seasons. Jones’ kick and punt return responsibilities mean that he’s only going to be able to do so much so that leaves a relatively inexperienced crew vying for expanded roles in the Baltimore offense.

According to Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun, Deonte Thompson is standing out in that group ahead of Tandon Doss, David Reed and LaQuan Williams. Preston reports that the Ravens think Thompson, who had five catches in his rookie season, has the “inside track” on a starting job across from Smith because he is the most complete option of the group. Coach John Harbaugh didn’t go that far in his assessment, but he did give a positive review of the second-year player.

“[Thompson] could sneak in there, he looks different, is fast and catches everything,” Harbaugh said. “But the other guys like Doss and Reed have done well and worked hard during the offseason. As I’ve always said, the best player will play.”

There’s been so much focus on the changes to the Ravens defense this offseason that Boldin’s departure and the ensuing gap in the depth chart have been relatively small topics of conversation. That figures to change in OTAs and training camp as the team tries to put together an offense capable of repeating as Super Bowl champions.

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33 Responses to “Deonte Thompson getting noticed in Ravens receiver competition”
  1. Joemontanaflacco says: May 21, 2013 10:13 AM

    This guy is going to be a monster. He’ll tear the Steelers’ flimsy secondary to bits.

  2. brianjoates says: May 21, 2013 10:21 AM

    Streeter might surprise some people.

  3. bigbenownsthenfl says: May 21, 2013 10:21 AM

    They had the luckiest run of any super bowl team ever! If it wasn’t for blown coverage in Denver and the fact the Steelers weren’t in the playoffs this team woulda been 1 and done. Reality check is coming for this Ratbird team this year. 7-9. At best!

  4. humbleminded85 says: May 21, 2013 10:26 AM

    I can’t wait to see this Caldwell led offense pick up where it left off. The day’s of Flacco having a plethora of possession receivers but no burners are over. He might not have the chain mover in Mason or Bolden but he also doesn’t have the stigma of a very basic and predictable offense.. This O-line is better as well as the overall offensive scheme which was PROVEN post week14 once Caldwell got the job and Joe was given the keys.

  5. camcameronsucks says: May 21, 2013 10:35 AM

    I was excited at the title of this story, then I saw “Mike Preston reports…” and I took the rest of it with a grain of salt.

    However, after watching Deonte in training camp and preseason last year I definitely saw flashes of his talent. Runningbacks only have to grab a handoff from the QB, but receivers and the QB need to gel more than any other two positions in football.

    It’s gonna take time, usually takes Flacco 1-2 years before he’s fully comfortable with a new receiver.

  6. jtbsteeler says: May 21, 2013 10:36 AM

    Flimsy as in #1 for s seasons running. How can you call a secondary flimsy when you have 7 new starters? HAHAHA. That Raven defense is going to be fun to watch and laugh at this season.

  7. jtbsteeler says: May 21, 2013 10:37 AM

    That O-line isn’t better. How? There’s questions from left to right on that line. LOL

  8. mobuccsfan says: May 21, 2013 10:44 AM

    Should be interesting to see who tries to replace Boldin this year. If this guy or Doss, Streeter, Reed or Williams can become the next Boldin, then Flacco shouldn’t drop off too much. I agree, I think Caldwell taking over helped a ton–another Turner almost. Terrible HC but great OC. Some guys are just better coordinators–IMO. And whoever said the ravens will be 7-9–most likely anywhere from 7-9 to 11-5 is where I see them this year. They have a lot of tools still to be back in the playoffs and compete for the AFC North–with the Steelers and Bengals. If I had to say today though–I see Cincy finally winning the North this year and Burgh and Baltimore battling it out for the Wild Card this year.

  9. getyourownname says: May 21, 2013 11:10 AM

    When are you guys going to learn that it almost never pays to rely on Mike Preston as a source?

  10. Joemontanaflacco says: May 21, 2013 11:28 AM

    You can tell by the empty bravado above that Steelers’ fans are scared to death. And, with Steelers fighting a 3 front war in the AFC North this year, 4th place is practically a certainty. Yet, they go on and on about a defense that lost 8 games, six rings, Colbert, blah blah blah. How sad. Smh.

  11. occamssabre says: May 21, 2013 11:43 AM

    I think this Ravens team is going to surprise MANY people this coming season with their play from both sides of the ball. Many diehard Ravens fans felt that Cam Cameron held this team back offensively, especially the last 2 years. When Caldwell took over it was like a fire was lit under the offense and they haven’t looked back!

    Thompson could be the one that steps into the Anquan role and flourish…or it could be Doss or Williams. Doesn’t matter because one of them will need to step up because the the parking brake that was Cam Cameron is lifted (gone) and this offense will be averaging (I’m guessing) get 24-30pts/game and the “D” will be better than they were last year. Watch out AFC North!!

  12. ravendog92 says: May 21, 2013 12:18 PM

    These Steelers fans are so ignorant. 7 new starters? Yes, and each one is better than the player they’ll replace. O-line full of questions? Ahem, name one. As long as bigmac shows up ready to play, our line will be one of the best in the league. Steelers fans are scared of these new ravens, and they refuse to admit their team has dropped off and is basically irrelevant. Ravennation.

  13. ravendog92 says: May 21, 2013 12:22 PM

    And boy, we sure are lucky the Steelers didn’t manage to limp into the postseason. Even though we beat the 3 best teams in the nfl on our way to the trophy, the grumpy old Steelers think they would’ve taken us out. Please. Check your own team before you trash a good franchise. Maybe try being bengals fans, you might be better off.

  14. cuda1234 says: May 21, 2013 12:58 PM

    Thompson was a great recruit coming out of HS but got stuck with Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer for a couple of years at Florida. That’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome on the way to the NFL. Hopefully he makes it anyway.

  15. jtbsteeler says: May 21, 2013 1:15 PM

    “As long as bigmac shows up ready to play” Like I said, QUESTIONS??? from LEFT to RIGHT.

    Boldin won’t be around to save Jumpball Joe this season. The Steelers stifled that offense twice last season. The Ravens season was predicated on two flukey plays. 4th and 27 and a Hail Mary Jumpball in Denver. That’s how close you were to not being in the playoffs. Now you want people to believe the Ravens p-poor defense is better without Lewis, Ellerbe, Pollard and Reed? Yeah, HAHA YOur whole secondary is new and your ILB’s will be roadgraded. Green Bay is going to soften that D up for us. You have ZERO confidence in that D. You can’t fool me.

  16. mobuccsfan says: May 21, 2013 1:22 PM

    Dang, you people are vicious, miserable, unhappy little wretches aren’t you? Someone giving an objective and honest view of your team–with nothing that I can recall (and I re-read three times already) as being negative. Facts are facts. Teams just don’t repeat anymore. It hasn’t happened since the Patriots and before that, it was the Broncos. It is a lot harder. I am saying all the factors that play in a football season have to unfold still–regression, loss of a few pieces on either side of the ball due to injury/etc, surprising teams on their schedule being tougher/better than expected, etc all play a hand in this. If things go well and on paper right now–they are 7-9 to an 11-5 team–somewhere in that range. As of right now–the Bengals should be poised to be serious about winning the north. Doesn’t mean it will happen but given history, I was saying they very well could and that the Steelers will be in it again, as they haven’t really had back-to-back down years in recent history.
    For the record, I like the Ravens a lot and have for some time. Was glad to see them win the Superbowl and rooted for them the entire game this year.

  17. ravendog92 says: May 21, 2013 2:02 PM

    You talk about how close we were to not making it. But as I recall, we did. Did you?

  18. buzzbeaubank says: May 21, 2013 2:32 PM

    jtbsteeler, there was nothing flukier than Big Ben tripping up Nick Harper only because his wife stabbed him in the leg the night before. Without that play, Bill Leavy doesn’t even get a chance to hand you your 5th Lombardi. Luck happens in the NFL.

  19. crownofthehelmet says: May 21, 2013 2:34 PM

    Forget about the 3rd recv’r. Torrey Smith and Jacoby the Dancer – that’s who you guys are rolling out as your 2 best receivers?

    That’s got to be the worst WR 1 – 2 in the league. Even more laughable that’s what you give your $120M man to work with.

  20. jtbsteeler says: May 21, 2013 2:39 PM

    That playoff run will seem like a decade ago after these early season beat downs hammer you and hammer you good. Oh the crying about that defense will rival the whining about Cam Cameron last season.

  21. buzzbeaubank says: May 21, 2013 3:17 PM

    Keep telling us how bad the Ravens are going to be next year, crown and jtbsteeler. If you need me, I’ll be over here watching Super Bowl highlights.

  22. lovefootball4life says: May 21, 2013 3:29 PM

    All this article succeeded in doing was bringing out the crow-ofthehelmet and bjsteeler grandiose declarations of delusion.

    Ravens have been in OTAs exactly two days. I don’t think they are ready to set the starting lineup yet. C’mon Streeter, you have size lets see it.

  23. tombstoned says: May 21, 2013 3:33 PM

    Last year I noticed Andy Luck played like Ben Roethlisberger and Ben Roethlisberger played like Kyle Orton. I wonder how much of Big Ben’s former success should be credited to Bruce Arians? I’m thinking most of it.

  24. jtbsteeler says: May 21, 2013 4:14 PM

    Ben was an MVP candidate before he got hurt. Keep trying… They led the league in 3rd down percentage and and time of possession before he got hurt. The offense, at first wasn’t the problem. And people wanted Flacco benched before they FIRED Cam Cameron. So give me a break. I hope to Jesus that they stand pat on the WR’s they have on that team.

  25. crownofthehelmet says: May 21, 2013 4:15 PM

    @lovefootball4, ironic you talk delusions of grandeur. You’re a fan of a team who thinks they can replace half their SB starters without missing a step, and proclaims QB eliteness by contract size instead of performance.

  26. lovefootball4life says: May 21, 2013 4:40 PM

    I didn’t say delusions of grandeur. I said declarations of delusion. They are different. Most of the starters are defense which honestly wasn’t good anyway. They reloaded with skill but have to work very hard to make them work as a team. That’s what I think.

  27. lovefootball4life says: May 21, 2013 4:45 PM

    I forgot Ravens paid based on results not performance. It is hard to argue with his postseason record. It may not be pretty all the time but he gets it done.

  28. tombstoned says: May 21, 2013 4:56 PM

    You’re right, prolly not best to measure QB eliteness by contract size. How bout wins? playoff appearances? playoff wins? Super bowl MVP awards? Or is there a different measure of ‘performance’ you had in mind? Let me guess… motorcycle crashes? multiple rape allegations?

    You Steeler fans are like the sunfish of NFL fandom. Just stick a hook in the water and you’re bound to pull out one or two. Very little effort required.

  29. steelerben says: May 22, 2013 9:15 AM

    A week and a half before June might be a little too early to declare the Steelers irrelevant and the Ravens repeat chmapions, the Ravens irrelevant and the Steelers champions for the seventh time, or the Steelers and the Ravens irrelevant with the Bengals winning the division.

    How about we watch some football and figure out how the new faces fit in for both teams first?

  30. danwhitmer says: May 22, 2013 3:07 PM

    It is laughable to see so many people fighting about how great or how horrible the team is going to be this year. I am a HUGE Ravens fan, but I am not a blow-hard. We have had a very good run over the past several years and if that run were to end this year then oh well, there is always next year! As for those of you who keep bashing the Ravens FO about the Flacco signing, give it a year and see if he lives up to it. I certainly do not think Romo deserved a better contract, Matt Ryan has done nothing in his career as far as the post season, and the list could go on. Flacco does have the most wins among qb’s in his first 6 seasons, he has the most road wins in the post season and most post season wins in the first 6 years of a career. Last year after a new OC took over he looked unstoppable and no one can argue that. Did Denver give up a bomb at the end of the game ? yup but Denver was one of the highest ranking defenses in football playing at home in the playoffs and the Ravens went in and took that game from them. Then they went to New England where once again no one gave them a shot to win and put a beat down on those boys. So do not tell me that they are weak, Flacco is over paid, they will not win anything next year, because no one knows what will happen!

  31. jtbsteeler says: May 22, 2013 3:30 PM

    Raven fans were so upset with Flacco mid-season and you fired your OC. Everything after that was a degree of luck. Starting with 4th and 27, then culminating Jumpball Joe living up to his namesake in Denver.

  32. wopsravens says: May 23, 2013 2:37 PM

    jbsteeler says:
    May 22, 2013 3:30 PM
    Raven fans were so upset with Flacco mid-season and you fired your OC. Everything after that was a degree of luck. Starting with 4th and 27, then culminating Jumpball Joe living up to his namesake in Denver.

    I think you need to watch some highlights of Joe. He can make very accurate passes that only his receiver can catch. Well you probably won’t because you just want to hate on the Champs. He plays against the Steelers pretty well. I’m pretty sure that a lot of his TD’s against them weren’t just jump balls. Go troll somewhere else…..

  33. sbchampsagain says: May 23, 2013 11:18 PM

    Torrey and Jones at WR
    Pitta moves to slot.
    Dickson and the UMD kid get more reps at TE.
    Deonte/Streeter/Doss fight for the 3rd WR spot and limited PT.

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