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Eric DeCosta believes 2024 wide receiver draft class is ‘pretty impressive’

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By: Joshua Reed

Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Ravens general manager agrees with the consensus about this year’s crop being deep and full of talent.

The Baltimore Ravens emphasized revamping the wide receiver position last offseason after their 2022 group of wideouts were the least productive in the entire league. It paid major dividends and helped propel franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson to his second career MVP-winning season, where he set a new career-high in passing yards.

While they made three notable acquisitions at the position including signing a pair of Super Bowl champions in Nelson Agholor and three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr., their most impactful addition came via the 2023 NFL Draft.

With the team’s lone selection on the top 64 picks, Ravens’ General Manager Eric DeCosta used the No. 22 overall selection in the first round to take Zay Flowers. The former Boston College standout quickly established himself as the No. 1 pass-catching threat in the new-look offense under first-year Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken. He broke several rookie records and finished as the team leader in targets (108), receptions (77), and receiving yards (858).

During his press conference at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, DeCosta expressed how the team views wide receiver as a more “critical position” than in years past and their data reinforces that belief. He compared them to racecars that break down sometimes having quality depth is just as “critical” as having top-tier starters.

“We think we built the room out pretty well this year and were able to sustain some injuries along the way,” DeCosta said. So, we will look at that.”

This year’s incoming crop of rookie receivers is viewed as the deepest in several years by analysts, pundits, and professional scouts. DeCosta agrees with the consensus.

“I think it’s a very, very deep year in the draft,” DeCosta said. This draft class is pretty impressive from a receiver standpoint. We’ll assess that talent and see what kind of falls our way and then look at the free agency crop, as well.”

Last year’s group that was littered with undersized wideouts who exceeded expectations such as Flowers, Jordan Addison of the Minnesota Vikings, and Tank Dell of the Houston Texans. Meanwhile, the 2024 class is loaded with big-bodied receivers that have prototypical “X” receiver size and playmaking traits.

The Ravens have been missing a truly dominant jump-ball winner who can consistently make contested catches and stretch the field vertically since trading Anquan Boldin after their Super Bowl win in 2012.

DeCosta has prioritized the position more in the draft since taking over as general manager than his predecessor Ozzie Newsome did historically. He has selected a first-round wide receiver in three of his first five years on the job. 2024 could see him take one in back-to-back years for the first time if a wideout is the best player available when the Ravens are on the clock. Some popular projections that have been mocked to them include Florida State’s Keon Coleman and Texas’ Adonai Mitchell.

Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts