The wide receiver position is one of the deepest and most crowded for the Baltimore Ravens in recent years. The sixth and final WR slot looks to come down to someone who can be an occasional offensive weapon, as well as provide special teams support. We have seen players like Deonte Thompson, David Reed and LaQuan Williams get some playing time with the Ravens filling this role in the past couple of years.
Thompson and Williams are competing once again for that final roster spot. But young veteran Kamar Aiken and undrafted free agent Jeremy Butler look like one or the other could push them out of the way. Aiken seems to have an edge, although with Butler, out of Tennessee-Martin, providing the lone receiving touchdown in the 49ers game it may be no sure thing.
Aiken played for much of the second-team offense’s drives. He had four catches and seemed very sure-handed. The Ravens are his fourth NFL team, but he doesn’t have a regular season catch. He has been mainly on the practice squads of the Bills, Bears and Patriots and played for the University of Central Florida (UCF).
At UCF, Aiken was seen as the most consistent receiver on the team and one of the strongest in their conference. He has a solid receiver’s body, runs well, blocks well and has good hands. He had some problem getting separation, which can be a problem at the pro level.
Aiken may still be a long-shot to make the team, but his ability to get and hold onto the ball may make him a better option that Thompson or Williams. He also may be a player that just needs some time on the field to show if he has pro abilities. He also will need to show the special team skills that the two aforementioned players have done, which is what has kept them around this long. It may ideal to somehow hold onto both Aiken, Butler and fellow rookie Michael Campanaro, although not sure how the team will manage to do that. Maybe one of them gets a late camp “injury” so that they can be stashed for a year on what would essentially be a red-shirt year.