The Baltimore Ravens have dedicated plenty of resources to the wide receiver position over the last few years. Some have worked out, some have not.
Ravens general manager traded 2019 first-round pick Marquis Brown to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft which they used for center Tyler Linderbaum. The Cardinals quickly picked up the fifth-year option on Brown, something the Ravens had not committed to doing up to that point.
Given the uptick in wide receiver contracts during the offseason, it made sense for the Ravens to move on from Brown and get some kind of return on their investment.
Baltimore has mostly relied on the tight ends for production in the passing game, specifically Mark Andrews who led the team with 107 catches for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
The Ravens added tight-end Isaiah Likely in the fourth round. He has already impressed and will be a key player for quarterback Lamar Jackson.
However, the Ravens need a contribution from their receivers. The current depth chart has Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and James Proche II listed as the starting receivers.
Bateman was a first-round pick (27th overall). He finished his rookie season with 46 receptions for 515 yards and a touchdown in 12 games. He figures to be the No. 1 receiver for the Ravens this season.
Tylan Wallace was a promising prospect coming out of Oklahoma State. The 2021 fourth-rounder started just one game last season recording two catches for 23 yards.
As a group, the Ravens receivers don’t have a lot of experience.
That’s where recent signing Demarcus Robinson can help. The Ravens signed Robinson to a one-year deal with $1.035 million that includes $895,000 in fully guaranteed money according Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked about Robinson after his first practice with the team.
“We’ve played against him all of these years,” Harbaugh. “He’s a big, strong receiver, very strong hands, catch radius. You didn’t see it when you guys went in, but he caught a really nice seam route off an RPO [rin-pass-option], and just went up and got it. [He’s] learning the offense. He couldn’t be in there too much today, because he’s learning the plays still, but he’ll pick them up quick. [I] expect him to play out there on Saturday and get going. So, we’re happy to have him.”
At 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, Robinson is a seven-year NFL veteran. He was a fourth-round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 and was on their Super Bowl LIV winning team in 2019.
The Chiefs signed him to two consecutive one-year deals in 2020 and 2021. His role was scaled back with the Chiefs in 2021. He finished with just 25 catches for 364 yards and three touchdowns and didn’t get a free agent offer from Kansas City.
The Las Vegas Raiders signed Robinson in March before releasing him on August 16.
Baltimore pounced on the opportunity to sign Robinson a week later. Robinson gives Ravens receiver coach Tee Martin a veteran player that should contribute to the current group of pass catchers. He has 145 receptions for 1,679 yards and 14 touchdowns in 81 career games.
Baltimore has Robinson listed behind Duvernay on the depth chart. The Ravens expect Robinson to make his debut for the team in the preseason finale against the Washington Commanders. He’ll challenge Duvernay and Proche for the No. 2 receiver spot.