Friday, September 25, 2009

The clamoring for a No. 1 WR has calmed yet still lingers

I fielded a ton of questions around the time of the draft, during OTA’s, throughout training camp and the preseason and just prior to kickoff v. the Kansas City Chiefs about the Ravens lack of depth and impact at the position of wide receiver.

Granted the team didn’t come up with that No. 1 go to guy in the mold of Messrs. Moss, Fitzgerald, Johnson & Johnson but these prototypical playmakers don’t exactly grow on trees. The NFL isn’t like Madden 2010. You can’t build your own wide receiver.

So if that playmaker isn’t available, you try to improve your club in other areas and that’s exactly what the Ravens did when they selected Michael Oher. Oher is showing that he not only can hold down his island on the right side single-handedly, he’s enabled Todd Heap to become a bigger part of the passing game. In some respects drafting Oher was on par with getting two players.

Yet I heard folks during the draft say the Ravens should have taken Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt with their original pick at No. 26. Some still beat that dead horse.

One Ravens fan hit me up on Facebook recently even after the win over the Chargers complaining about the team’s lack of explosiveness on the outside.

Having heard enough of it (apparently I don't possess the same high tolerance for repetition as 105.7 The Fan's Anita Marks) I decided to look up the stats through two games of all the rookie wide receivers drafted in the first round in 2009. Those players include: Darrius Heyward-Bey; Michael Crabtree; Jeremy Maclin; Hakeem Nicks; and Kenny Britt. Here are their numbers (catches-yards-TD):

Heyward-Bey: 1-18-0
Crabtree: 0-0-0
Maclin: 2-12-0
Nicks: 2-18-0
Britt: 6-107-0

Instead of moving up and/or drafting any of these players, the Ravens brought in a reclamation project with untapped potential. His name is Kelley Washington who Bill Belichick called one of his best special teams players in ’08. Washington’s numbers you ask…


Oh, and he makes the NFL minimum.

Trust in Oz.

Photo by Sabina Moran


Jerry B said...

Couldn't agree more, TL! Drafting a wide receiver has become almost as much of a "crap shoot" as drafting a QB. College defenses aren't nearly as complex or talent-laden as those in the NFL; hence, pass routes and separation (getting open) are not as difficult in college than they are in the pros. It takes more than speed and good hands to make it as a receiver in the NFL.......

Harryos29 said...

harry o 29 9 25 09

two words for naysayers
my surgery went well today..typing one handed sucks

Don Banks said...

This is one of your better blogs that you have written....simple, thoughtful, and researched. Intelligent people care more about facts than opinion and this is a very intelligent piece that speaks to the wisdom (or lack thereof) of drafting a young star college receiver and expecting any immediate dividend.

Thanks for posting...

Donnie Banks