Questions remain on every NFL roster at this point as analysts and fans alike predict what each team will do to prepare for the 2017 season. The Baltimore Ravens have just as many questions as answers on both sides of the football going into 2017.
One recurring concern for Baltimore’s roster is what the receiving corps will look like in Week One.
Will they sign a veteran receiver as they’ve done in years past? Probably so.
Will they draft a wide receiver in the first two days of the draft? A likely possibility as well.
The main scope of discussion has been who’s not on the roster already, rather than who is already on it. And, of course, any talk of receivers already on the team largely focuses on Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace. But, there is more to think about than just those two.
Chris Moore was drafted as a part of Baltimore’s glorious 4th-round in the 2016 draft. The 4th-round brought in starters Tavon Young and Alex Lewis, as well as Kenneth Dixon, who played more as the season went on.
Moore saw less time on the field than the other three (but more than fellow 4th-rounder Willie Henry), but he plays in a more crowded position. It would’ve been hard to play him over Steve Smith Sr., Wallace, Perriman, and 2015 standout Kamar Aiken. Young, Lewis, and Dixon were needed at their positions as the season went on.
But now, with Smith Sr., and presumably Aiken gone, Moore’s door to the field is open. If the Ravens suited up for a game today, Moore would realistically be the No. 3 receiver behind Perriman and Wallace and in front of oft-injured Michael Campanero.
He has the physical attributes that receivers can’t be taught. He’s 6’1”, 206 lbs., and owns a 4.53 40-yard-dash time. He’s built to succeed at the pro level.
Moore had a problem with drops in his first season, but showed the ability to gain separation and find the open spot in a secondary. Drops are a fixable problem. Many receivers are accused of bad hands early in their careers. And, many overcome that problem. Catching the ball is what they get paid to do, overall.
Throughout John Harbaugh’s tenure with Baltimore, a renowned route to seeing the field on offense/defense is through special teams. Moore made his mark in that are, scoring two touchdowns off blocked punts in two consecutive games. He forced a fumble and recovered it in the endzone in a loss in New York, and recovered a block for a score in a victory over Pittsburgh.
Moore has everything he needs to carve his own role into this Baltimore offense. He must work this offseason to gain as much chemistry with Joe Flacco as possible, work on his drops, and climb the depth chart.
If he wants to beat out a veteran or rookie brought in for competition, now is the time to do it.