Deonte Thompson likely to be Ravens' No. 2 receiver

Undrafted Deonte Thompson has "inside track" to Ravens' No. 2 receiver job

5/21/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

When the Baltimore Ravens shipped leading receiver Anquan Boldin to San Francisco, they knew they would have a void to fill. They didn't know who would fill that void, but planned on letting the situation play out and giving the best candidate the job. The Ravens will have a pretty wide open competition this summer to determine who will start opposite Torrey Smith.

Though Jacoby Jones was the Ravens' most productive split end aside from Boldin and Smith last season, it appears that the organization would like to keep him in a special teams/third receiver type role. Therefore, they have three in-house candidates who could earn the No. 2 job - Tandon Doss, David Reed, and Deonte Thompson. These three receivers combined for 17 catches and 240 receiving yards last season.

Blog Photo - Deonte Thompson likely to be Ravens' No. 2 receiverAccording to the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens have been giving the impression that Thompson is the man with the "inside track" to the No. 2 job. An undrafted free agent in 2012, Thompson played a very minor role on offense last season, playing in six games and catching five passes for 51 yards. He did, however, return 15 kickoffs at 25.9 yards per return.

The former Florida Gator has good size at 6'0'', 200, as well as electrifying speed. Thompson claims to have run a 4.23 forty-yard dash, and ran a 4.32 at Florida's pro day last year. His speed, however, has not always translated into production. During his four years playing for Florida, Thompson had 101 catches for 1,446 yards and nine touchdowns. He caught only 21 passes for a mere 264 yards and one touchdown as a senior.

Despite the disappointing college production, Thompson reportedly shredded Ravens defensive backs during last year's training camp, which earned him a spot on the team's roster. The Ravens are apparently still high on him, and feel he could be a legitimate contributor to their offense.

"[Thompson] could sneak in there," said head coach John Harbaugh. "He looks different, is fast, and catches everything... As I've always said, the best player will play." Harbaugh also paid homage to the offseason work of Doss and Reed, but it seemed obvious that Thompson is the player who stands out in his mind.

This will be one of the more interesting position battles to monitor during training camp, as the winner will play a significant role on the offense of the defending Super Bowl champions. From a fantasy standpoint, whoever wins the job will be worth drafting in fantasy leagues, likely as a sleeper. Defenses need to cater to the dangerous abilities of Torrey Smith, so whoever plays opposite of him will likely see a lot of single coverage. As of right now, that player seems likely to be Deonte Thompson.
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