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7 wide receiver prospects Ravens could target early in 2024 NFL Draft

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By: Joshua Reed

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Potential first and second round prospects in a deep class at the position filled with natural ‘X’ options.

The 2024 NFL Draft features what is viewed as a loaded wide receiver class chock-filled with prospects that fit the mold of what the Baltimore Ravens’ offense is missing in a natural ‘X’ option on the outside. General Manager Eric DeCosta is a big fan of this year’s crop as well and told reporters on Tuesday that it is “pretty impressive.” He has taken a receiver in the first round in three of his first five years since taking over for his predecessor Ozzie Newsome but never in back-to-back drafts.

There should be some promising big-bodied options available when the team is on the clock at No. 30 overall but if they opt to go a different direction, there are still going to be some talented prospects that fit the mold on Day 2.

Here’s a brief breakdown of projected first and second-round receivers that the Ravens could target on the first two days of the draft and who would be great fits in their still-evolving offense.


Potential first-round targets

Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Texas A&M at LSU

The 6-foot-4 and 205-pound former Tiger hails from what has aptly been named WRU and while he was a bit overshadowed by his teammate and Biletnikoff award finalist Malik Nabers this past season, he is a stud in his own right. Thomas Jr. has the size, catch radius, ball skills, and long speed to dominate on the outside and has shown the ability to work out of the slot as well with more fluid and refined route running than most other prospects of his physical dimensions. In his final collegiate season, he recorded career-highs across the board with 68 receptions for 1,177 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in 13 games.

Keon Coleman, FSU

Florida State v Clemson
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The 6-foot-4 and 215-pound former Seminole is the most impressive contested catch specialist among this year’s crop, he hauled in highlight-reel snags in the clutch moments of big games on a weekly basis. Coleman is a former basketball player with great size, wide catch radius, soft hands, incredible ball skills, and speed to dominate on the outside and be a menace in the red zone at the next level. While he struggles to consistently gain separation, he possesses some electric playmaking ability in open space that he displayed as both a pass catcher and punt returner in his lone year at Florida State. In his final collegiate season, Coleman recorded a career-high 11 touchdowns which was more than his previous two seasons at Michigan State combined and he also logged 50 receptions for 658 receiving yards and added 300 punt return yards to his all-purpose total on 25 returns.

Adonai Mitchell, Texas

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Big 12 Championship Game - Texas vs Oklahoma State
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The 6-foot-4 and 196-pound former Longhorn is a prospect that Ravens Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken is very familiar with given that they won back-to-back national titles together at the University of Georgia from 2021-2022. Mitchell transferred to Texas in 2023 and posted career highs across the board, eclipsing his previous combined totals with 55 catches for 845 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games. Not only does he have a great size with a wide catch radius and superb ball skills but his ability to adjust to make any catch is incredible as well. He has good start-and-stop quickness to snap off routes and beat press, and the deep speed to take the top off of opposing defenses.

Troy Franklin, Oregon

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington
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The 6-foot-3 and 180-pound former Duck is the leanest prospect on this list but is among it most explosive, he is expected to run a fast time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine. Franklin can make contested catches despite his slight frame but he is a big play merchant through and through who averaged a career-high 17.1 yards per catch last season along with a team-leading 1,383 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 13 games last season. He has the blazing speed to blow past cornerbacks over the top and outrun second and third-level defenders for long gains and even touchdowns after catching the ball short on hitches and curls.

Potential second-round targets

Brenden Rice, USC

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 26 San Jose State at USC
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The 6-foot-2 and 212-pound former Trojan is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and the potent playmaking gene was definitely inherited. Rice dominates at the catch point, has soft yet strong hands, and is tough to bring down in the open field or jam at the line of scrimmage with an underrated explosive release that he uses to uncover quickly. In his final collegiate season, he averaged a career-high 17.6 yards per catch to go along with 791 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on just 45 receptions in 12 games last season. He had a strong week at the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl and is firmly on the Ravens’ radar given how often they pull from the annual event’s talent pool.

Ja’lynn Polk, Washington

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 CFP Semifinal - Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas vs Washington
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The 6-foot-2 and 204-pound former Huskie was also overshadowed by a teammate who was a Biletnikoff award finalist in Rome Odunze this past season but still stood out with a career year. Polk has good size but plays even bigger when the ball is up in the air and it comes within his wide catch radius where he can showcase his impressive ball skills. He has excellent body control and spatial awareness out on the boundary and is both willing and energetic as a run blocker. In his final collegiate season, he recorded career-highs across the board with 69 receptions for 1,159 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games.

Xavier Legette, South Carolina

South Carolina v Georgia
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The 6-foot-1 and 223-pound former Gamecock isn’t the tallest prospect on this big-bodied list but he has the biggest body of them all. Legette physically resembles and plays like a mixture of AJ Brown and D.K. Metcalf with how aggressively he attacks the ball in the air, turns into a freight train after the catch, and imposes his will as a run blocker. He is a dangerous red zone threat and can contribute on special teams as a kick returner who posted 26.4 yard return average in his collegiate career. In his final collegiate season, Legette’s production exploded and he finished with career highs across the board with 71 catches for 1,255 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games, which were more than his previous 31 games over four seasons combined.

Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts