The Baltimore Ravens wide receivers went through a substantial overhaul this offseason.
Gone are guys like Mike Wallace (61 receptions), Jeremy Maclin (40 receptions) and Michael Campanaro (19 receptions). In, through free agency, are guys like Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown. While those new guys are certainly talented in their own right, I believe that one of Baltimore’s few holdovers at the position, Chris Moore, is primed to break out this year and show he is ready for a much bigger role in the offense.
Last year Moore was the Ravens’ lead kickoff return man, but he also contributed 18 catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns on offense. He ranked fourth, third and tied for second in those categories, respectively, out of all Baltimore’s receivers in 2017. He also ended up starting in four out of the 13 games he played in last season. Moore’s 13.8 yards per catch average was also second only to Wallace’s 14.4, which shows you he has some big play ability his damn self.
Watching his tape, I was immediately impressed with Moore’s speed, quickness and route running.
Baltimore had him lining up both inside and outside and no matter where he was, he did a really good job of getting open. Unsurprisingly for a return guy, he was also good running with the ball after the catch as you might imagine. He definitely has some wiggle in the open field once he gets going.
Moore’s hands were a little inconsistent, but he also made some really nice catches in traffic on occasion as well, so it all evened out. Now it’s time to see what he can do with more opportunities and more targets.
There is one other factor that may help Moore breakout this year — Joe Flacco.
Since the Ravens spent a first round pick on Lamar Jackson, all of the chatter coming from the team is that Flacco has been “reborn.” Whether its the pressure of trying to keep Jackson on the bench for as long as possible or if Flacco just happened upon the fountain of youth this offseason, if the result is improved play from him I don’t think anybody in Baltimore is going to complain.
The better he plays, the more opportunities his receivers will have. If Moore can do his part and make sure he is on the field a lot, improved play from Flacco should allow Moore to really showcase his skills.
I don’t see any reason why Moore’s receptions, yards and touchdown numbers can’t at least double this year, even with all those free agent additions. He gives the Ravens a consistent deep threat that can take the top off of opposing defenses. He also has the ability to catch a short pass, make a guy miss, and take it to the house. Ravens fans have, rightly, called out the lack of weapons for Flacco in recent years, but I think Moore along with Crabtree, Snead and Brown could give Baltimore one of the best receiving corps it’s had in quite some time. If Flacco really has turned back the clock, there is no telling just how big Moore’s jump in production could be this season.
Confidence level: Moderate