Ravens GM ‘insulted’ by outside criticism of team’s wide receivers as NFL draft approaches

by Ryan

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Mitchell Layton / USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have never drafted a wide receiver that went to the Pro Bowl. They had the fewest receiving yards by wide receivers and tight ends in 2020. Baltimore has been frantically searching to upgrade at wide receiver in free agency. 

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is upset over the criticism Baltimore’s current wide receiver group has received as he’s headed the attempt to improve the position. 

“I’m aware that there’s some fan discontent with our wide receivers in our drafting and all of that … We have some really good, young receivers. It’s insulting to these guys when they hear that we don’t have any receivers. It’s quite insulting,” DeCosta said on a conference call with reporters Monday. “I’m insulted by it, too, to be honest. I think we have some guys that want to show everybody what they can do. 

“We love our team. We love our roster. We have a lot of really good, young football players who care very badly about it. If Pro Bowlers get voted Pro Bowlers, they’re Pro Bowlers. But I think we’ve had a lot of good receivers here over the years that have won big games for us.”

DeCosta certainly has tried to upgrade at wide receiver since taking over as general manager in 2019. The Ravens have selected Marquise Brown in the first round of the 2019 draft and Miles Boykin in the third round that same year. Baltimore also selected Devin Duvernay in the third round of the 2020 draft. Those three receivers have combined for 156 catches for 2,018 yards and 22 touchdowns over the last two seasons — not enough to get Lamar Jackson over the hump as Baltimore has won just one playoff game since the Pro Bowl quarterback took over as the full-time starter in 2019. 

Jackson actually has more rushing yards over the last two seasons (2,211) than the trio of receivers DeCosta drafted in the first three rounds of the draft (2,018). The Ravens did try to improve at wide receiver in free agency, signing Sammy Watkins and missing out on JuJu Smith-Schuster — not nearly enough to appease the fans.

“I know this; I think Lamar [Jackson] likes our receivers, you know? I think our coaches like our receivers,” DeCosta said. “I think the teammates, the guys on this team like our receivers. That’s my answer to that question.”

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