Ravens sign Maclin, Adding Experience to wideout Group
The Baltimore Ravens and Jeremy Maclin agreed to a 2-year deal Monday.
Maclin picked the Ravens over the Buffalo Bills, giving the Ravens a well-needed receiver to add to a depleted group. Maclin will replace Steve Smith as Joe Flacco #1 target, who completed his 16-year career with the Ravens last season. This is the second time in the last four years that the Ravens have signed a big-name wide receiver.
The Ravens historically have not had great success with wide receivers, whether it be from the draft or free agency. Guys like Steve Smith, Derrick Mason, and Anquan Boldin, who were picked up in free agency, left an impact on the Ravens but were on the tail end of their careers. Maclin is still in the prime of his career, only 29 with 102 games on his body.
Still a veteran, Maclin adds some well-needed experience to the Ravens current receiving corp. There are 12 wideouts on the roster excluding Maclin. Mike Wallace is the only player with more than five years of experience. Breshard Perriman is after Wallace as the player with the most game time experience, playing in 16 games last season. Perriman didn't perform well enough for the Ravens to believe that he could handle being a #1 or #2 receiver, catching 33 balls for 499 yards and 3 TDs.
Perriman so far has been an example of the Ravens receiving woes. Perriman was drafted 26th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was the third receiver picked in the first round in Ravens' franchise history. Perriman didn't touch the field his first two seasons, and when he finally did touch the field, drop passes plagued his production. The Ravens have selected 22 wide receivers in the NFL Draft since becoming an NFL franchise back in 1996. Those 22 players combine for 17,442 receiving yards, that's an average of 792 yards per player, which is deceiving being that much of that production comes from four players.
Career Recieving Yards
Signing Maclin gives Ravens' fans a better indication of what the team will look like come September. One of the biggest faults for the Ravens has been their lack of identity. During the 2015 season, the Ravens suffered multiple losses because of either not passing the ball enough or passing it too much. Flacco also had to play under two different offensive coordinators. And when Steve Smith officially announced that it was his last season, the offense was left with a lot of questions. While the offensive style might still be a mystery, fans in Baltimore can feel more confident knowing that the receiving group has a pro-bowler a part of it.
Maclin is not a sure thing though. He is coming off his worst season, catching a career-low 44 passes for 536 yards with the Chiefs. He also missed four games last season dealing with a groin injury. When the Ravens signed Mike Wallace - who was a Raven-killer during his time in Pittsburgh - the expectations were high. Wallace eclipsed 1,000 yards last season with the Ravens but he wasn't that big play receiver that the Ravens desperately needed. On paper, Maclin should help the Ravens passing game. He caught 87 balls in the Chiefs dink-n-dunk offense but with Flacco, a player who is willing to take more chances down the field than Alex Smith, Maclin's yards yard per catch should increase from the 12.7 he average last season.