Ravens wide receivers, tight ends will battle for opportunities

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has plenty of options to get other players the ball under offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

The question is, who will emerge as Jackson’s go-to playmaker?

The goal heading into training camp is to play up-tempo and move the ball more effectively downfield.

“We want to streamline, [and] we want to make it better for all of our players – Lamar especially – and we want to streamline it in a way that we become a more consistent offense,” Monken said. “And everybody is striving for that. I thought there were a lot of really great things we did last year, but we can strive to be more consistent [and] certainly start faster. We have to work to start faster. That’s inevitable, but [in] Year Two, we should be able to do that.”

Last season, wide receiver Zay Flowers led the team with 108 targets. Entering his second year, Flowers is looking to build on that performance and could become the primary wideout.

Tight end Mark Andrews was second with 61 targets despite missing seven games with an ankle injury.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who re-signed with a one-year deal in February, was third with 45 targets, followed by Odell Beckham Jr. (64), Rashod Bateman (56), and tight end Isaiah Likely (40), who emerged as a playmaker when Andrews got hurt.

Beckman signed with the Miami Dolphins this offseason, which should create more opportunities for Bateman and Likely to catch passes. Rookie Devontez Walker has been impressive in the offseason workouts and he has put himself in a position to get on the field as a deep threat.

Jackson is getting more comfortable in his second year with Monken. The Ravens want more explosive plays downfield, an area in which they’ve struggled the past few seasons.

“I believe our offense is taking steps in the right direction right now,” Jackson said.”We don’t really know who the guys are going to be right now. We’re not in camp. We’re not close to the first game or anything like that. But right now, I feel like we’re taking steps in the right direction. Guys are moving good, running great routes, catching the ball, blocking good. We look pretty smooth, but I can’t tell until we’re in pads.”

The Ravens added running back Derrick Henry this offseason, and he will play a huge role in the offense. The Ravens have built their offense around the rushing attack, which led the NFL with 156.5 yards rushing per game in 2023.

Last season, the Ravens also ran the ball 541 times and attempted 476 passes. That trend is likely to continue, so the wide receivers and tight ends have to make the most of their opportunities.

“It’s just everybody is coming out here to work and get better each and every day, and I think they’ve bought into that,” wide receivers coach Greg Lewis. “It’s a team effort, and we need everybody. So, just having everybody to push each other and get better each and every day has been remarkable.”

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