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.