The Baltimore Ravens need assistance at large receiver. May they give the impression of being to former division rival JuJu Smith-Schuster as a free agent goal?
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky and Mina Kimes each obtained the eye of Ravens followers earlier this week once they prompt that the workforce ought to signal Pittsburgh Steelers pending free agent receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Recognized most nowadays for his touchdown celebrations and TikTok dances, the 24-year-old rapidly turned one thing of a firebrand throughout the 2020 season. He’s considered by many as serving to create the sort of distracting environment that precipitated the Steelers to drop 4 of their ultimate 5 video games this previous season.
However he’s additionally averaged 931.5 receiving yards and 77 catches over the course of his first 4 seasons, the sort of manufacturing the Ravens desperately want in the event that they’re going to lift the profile of their passing assault. So ought to Baltimore give their former rival a glance? Completely.
As my colleague, Chris Schisler wrote earlier this week,
“If the Ravens did this they might be including a participant in his prime and a former Professional Bowl receiver. Jackson to Smith-Schuster has a little bit of a hoop to it.”
When he’s centered, Smith-Schuster is in some ways the proper fashionable Raven. It’s been well-documented how, as he turned extra skilled as a head coach, John Harbaugh learned to loosen up a little and let his gamers present their personalities. And whereas work ethic and excessive motor are nonetheless cornerstones of the Ravens means, gamers like Mark Ingram have proven that character, work ethic, and persona can all coexist.
Smith-Schuster’s enjoyable aspect has actually acquired loads of consideration, however one thing that appeared to remain rather more below the radar this previous season was simply how powerful and bodily he was on the sector.
Throw on tape of the USC product and also you’ll see play after play the place he’s preventing for additional yards and throwing his physique forwards, backward, and the wrong way up to maneuver the sticks. Watching even a couple of snaps from the four-year veteran rapidly places any inquiries to mattress about his want to win.
At 6″1, Smith-Schuster could not profile as a real “massive receiver” in the identical mould as different free brokers like Corey Davis (6″3) or A.J. Green (6″4), however would nonetheless carry some extent of measurement to a Ravens receiving core that presently options only one receiver above six ft (Miles Boykin – 6″4).
And as a 24-year-old with 4 years of NFL expertise below his belt, the previous Professional Bowler would be a part of a younger Ravens offense that’s nonetheless on the upswing, whereas additionally including a veteran presence to a receiving core of gamers which might be all nonetheless below rookie contracts.
That he hasn’t set the world on fireplace during the last two seasons in an underwhelming Steelers offense additionally stands to drive his worth down, which solely additional advantages Baltimore.
The Backside Line:
JuJu Smith-Schuster stands out as the most polarizing receiver in the marketplace, however he shouldn’t be. Not like many massive personalities with diva reputations, he performs onerous and clearly loves the sport of soccer.
He run blocks nicely, makes quick-strike performs, and would merely take the Ravens offense to a a lot larger degree. TikTok’s not a criminal offense, and for those who actually suppose doing dances on the 50 after video games is a deal-breaker for the Ravens, you clearly haven’t been paying attention.