Ravens Undrafted WR Making Noise

Baltimore Ravens teammates are impressed with one UDFA wideout.
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Dayton Wade (19) catches a pass behind Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Cam Miller (5) during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Dayton Wade (19) catches a pass behind Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Cam Miller (5) during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the biggest criticisms of the Baltimore Ravens' roster construction for years was their failure to put adequate receivers around star quarterback Lamar Jackson. They have certainly improved that area of the roster over the years, but there's still plenty of room for growth.

Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman form a solid duo, but in the modern NFL where receiver is one of the most important positions in the game, opposing defenses don't fear Baltimore's wideouts like they do for other teams.

With no huge additions in free agency or the draft, the Ravens will be looking for players to step up to improve the receiver room. Fourth-round pick Devontez Walker has garnered a good deal of hype, but one Ravens Pro Bowler believes there's another wideout who's turning some heads.

According to fullback Patrick Ricard, undrafted free agent receiver Dayton Wade is a player to keep an eye on going forward.

"Me being an undrafted guy, I'm going to show a little love to an undrafted guy," Ricard said on the Green Light podcast. "We have a receiver, his last name's Wade, he's number 18. I'm just seeing every day this man's flashing. He's looking really crisp when he runs his routes, he's catching all the balls, he has strong hands. He doesn't say too much, he just puts his head down and is constantly just making plays.

"I think he's going to make some noise in the preseason. I just remembered his name is Dayton Wade. I think he's a guy to look out for."

Wade made a name for himself in his final season at Ole Miss, catching 55 passes for 830 yards and four touchdowns in the brutal SEC. He's a bit undersized at 5-9 and 176 pounds, which could limit him at the NFL level, but his athleticism helps him make up for it.

Ricard isn't the only one to take notice of Wade's performance. Early on in OTAs, Ravens editorial director Ryan Mink highlighted Wade in an article about rookies who have impressed.

"The Ravens have several undrafted rookie wide receivers, but Wade jumped to the front of the line on Thursday," Mink wrote. "The 5-foot-9 wideout was active with several catches, including a one-hander when he reached back with his left hand against tight coverage."

The Ravens could use a boost to their receiver corps, and if Wade continues to stand out, perhaps he could be the one to give them that boost.

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO