OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens' young group of wide receivers are going to get a huge opportunity to show they can be playmakers in the NFL.
It could be sink or swim time for some of them.
Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II, Tylan Wallace and several undrafted rookies and second-year players will compete for playing time and roster spots.
Baltimore has yet to add a veteran to replace Marquise Brown, who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.
The Ravens are poised to move forward with the players on the current roster.
"I think at some point in time, you’ve got to put guys out there," coach John Harbaugh said. "We all like to cling to the known, the names, whatever it might be, and the opportunity to throw those guys out there and see how they do … I can tell you this, they’re working really hard. I mean, they understand the situation, and I think they’re making the most of it.
"They’ve been here, really being honest with you, for almost months now. They’ve been here from the beginning working extremely hard every day.”
Bateman will take over that No. 1 role with Brown gone. He has the speed, hands and overall talent to thrive as long as he stays healthy.
Duvernay is poised to take over the No. 2 role with Proche and Wallace battling for the starting job at slot receiver.
Second-year player Binjimen Victor has flashed in practice for the second straight year.
The Ravens signed several undrafted wide receivers, including Makai Polk (Mississippi State), Slade Bolden (Alabama), Trevon Clark (California), Raleigh Webb (Citadel), and Devon Williams (Oregon) to compete for jobs.
Tight end Isaiah Likely also plays like a big-bodied wide receiver.
"We took ‘Bate’ [Rashod Bateman] last year; he was our first-round guy, and I think he’s going to show you why," GM Eric DeCosta said. "Devin, we have a theory that guys that end up playing on special teams and being really good special teams players end up being really good position players. We think Devin is a great young player. We took Tylan last year, and kind of the same thing. He’s a young player and we were very excited to get him last year. He’s a guy last year that we got in the fourth round, that we probably would have taken a round and a half earlier last year.
"Then we have James, and James made a jump last year and made some critical plays in games."