The Baltimore Ravens have long looked for a talented wide receiver but have failed to find one time and time again. A few years ago, they finally found one when they drafted Torrey Smith in the second round. They have since then signed receivers Jacoby Jones and Steve Smith.
Last year they drafted/acquired two young wide receivers of whom they had high hopes. They took Aaron Mallett out of Elon in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, but he was supposedly a steal and worthy of having been a third or fourth round pick. However, he suffered a knee injury prior to the season which forced him to miss the entire year. The Ravens released him before he was able to get a shot on the playing field.
The bigger acquisition for the Ravens last year was the signing of talented receiver Marlon Brown out of Georgia. When Brown committed to the University of Georgia, he was the fifth-best receiver in the country and was ranked No. 53 in the 2009 recruiting class.
He played alongside A.J. Green throughout his college career, and was expected to be the next A.J. Green – a fourth-overall pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. However, he suffered a torn ACL which forced him to miss the last season of his college career. Due to this and various other injuries, he dropped from being a five-star recruit to an undrafted free agent. The Ravens seized the opportunity and took a shot on him.
He had a great preseason which earned him a spot on the 53-man roster. He had a very productive rookie year catching 49 passes for 524 yards and seven touchdowns as the starting slot receiver. His 6-foot-4, 203 pound figure makes him a solid target in the red zone especially with his nice pair of hands. Brown was the main reason that Mallett got booted, so obviously the Ravens have a lot of confidence in his ability.
This past May, the Ravens signed wide receiver Jeremy Butler as an undrafted free agent. He visited with the Green Bay Packers before deciding to sign with the Ravens on a three-year, $1.534 million deal. At 6-foot-2, 218-pounds, Butler is an imposing down-field target with size, strength, and leaping ability. He has impressed the Ravens staff in numerous practices this year, displaying his capability to make catches over the middle of the field on a number of occasions.
“I would say I bring versatility in the schemes and being able to play all over the passing game,” said Butler, “I make the plays down-field in the deep game. I go across the middle. I enjoy the dirty work and like the short, quick game.”
Butler, a Tennessee-Martin standout, recorded 141 receptions for 1,953 yards (13.9 avg.) and 20 TDs in two seasons for the Skyhawks, including 90 catches for 1,203 yards and 10 TDs as a senior. Prior to his time at UT-Martin, Butler played at the College of the Sequoias, where he appeared in 11 games, recording 48 receptions for 617 yards and six touchdowns in 2011.
Will Butler be good enough to make the cut? Well, it certainly helps when the teams staff is impressed with you, and the Baltimore Ravens have certainly demonstrated such about him. There are a bunch of players that are waiting to see whether they will make the team’s roster or not. This is what preseason is all about; and though it might not be so exciting for us, it certainly is for the players on the “bubble”.