Photo Credit: USA Today

PFF: Ravens’ Wide Receiver Unit Finished With League-Worst Drop Rate

February 01, 2019 - 7:54 am
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By Joe Schiller 

More than likely, the Baltimore Ravens will have to overhaul their wide receiver core for the second straight year. It’s a position that’s continually plagued the Ravens over time as they’ve relied on veteran talent and struggled to develop young players.

Under Lamar Jackson last season, the offensive formula completely adapted, focusing on a run-first attack. The Ravens finished second only behind the Seahawks averaging 152.6 rushing yards per game. And while the emphasis may still fall in that area, it’s understood that the passing game has to improve.

The first finger is usually pointed at Jackson. He struggled with accuracy in eight games as the starter and the passing game was nowhere near as productive as it was with Joe Flacco.

However, the blame doesn’t fall solely on the quarterback.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Ravens’ wide receiver unit finished dead last in the NFL with a league-worst 11.4% drop rate. Rounding out the bottom of the group were the Jaguars (11.3%), Broncos (10.9%) and Bengals (10.4%)

The success running the football helped mask a glaring crutch but the statistic is concerning nonetheless.

The Ravens’ two biggest free agent signings last offseason – Michael Crabtree and John Brown – combined for 13 drops. Memorable ones in fact, including a potential game-winning drop from Crabtree in the team’s Week 5 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Drops were an issue with Joe Flacco under center and it becomes and even bigger one with Jackson. At this point in his professional career, Jackson’s skill-set as a passer is limited. He’s still developing and cannot afford to suffer consistent faults from his receiving core.

As much as some may question the desire for wide receivers to come play in Baltimore, the Ravens must make sure they’re securing reliable sets of hands for their young quarterback.

It goes both ways.