Considering how the Baltimore Ravens approached the off-season, a wide receiver is bound to breakout. The team saw an exodus of talent at receiver, with Miles Boykin being released and 2019 first-round pick Marquise Brown being dealt to the Arizona Cardinals. Thus, leaving second-year wideout Tylan Wallace as the perfect breakout candidate for 2022.
Tylan Wallace is a Baltimore Ravens Breakout Candidate for 2022
How 2022 Ravens Receiving Corps Came Together
To replace those targets, the Ravens coaching staff is actively developing the passing offense downfield. While Boykin only saw one target last year, Brown accumulated 1,008 yards and six touchdowns on 91 receptions. Given Lamar Jackson had an injury-riddled year, those numbers are less than what they could have been with a healthy number one quarterback. With Brown out the door, tight end Mark Andrews is far and away the biggest receiving threat for Baltimore.
While the Ravens received a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft for parting ways with Brown, it was not spent on a receiver. Instead, General Manager Eric DeCosta drafted Tyler Linderbaum, the team’s new center. As a matter of fact, none of the Ravens’ 11 2022 NFL Draft picks were wide receivers. What they did opt to do though was draft two tight ends, Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely.
Despite this, the Ravens have four receivers who could all compete for the top three spots on the wide receiver depth chart. They are Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and Tylan Wallace. All of whom are 25 years old or younger. Therefore, giving Baltimore a youthful corps, but one that does not feature an experienced starter.
For now, though, Bateman, Duvernay, and Proche project best as the starting three. The Ravens’ heavy-personnel offense means that their roles are versatile and vaguely defined. However, Bateman will likely be the primary boundary target, with the others moving around a little more.
Where Wallace Comes into Play
The Oklahoma State product stands at 5’11” and 195-pounds, with the ability to play inside or out. Wallace possesses fantastic athletic traits in his polished tape that displays good production. In the 2021 NFL Draft, Wallace was considered a day two prospect, although, the saturation of a talented receiver class resulted in him falling to the fourth round. Taken with the 131st overall pick, Wallace can wind up being a steal.
As a rookie, he only saw one start in 17 games, with six targets and two receptions. He saw just 84 snaps on offense, compared to 287 on special teams. With Boykin and Brown gone, Wallace should see a significant uptick in offensive reps in 2022.
Further, Wallace offers something different than Duvernay and Proche – the ability to play on the boundary. Though the three receivers have similar heights, Wallace provides a competent jump-ball threat. During his time in college, he was frequently successful in contested catch opportunities.
There is also his unique run-after-the-catch ability. Wallace’s natural burst is great, and he is capable of out-muscling defenders in the secondary too. During minicamp, Wallace impressed many coaches with some great catches.
Currently, Wallace is the fourth receiver in the offense searching for his niche role to grow from. He also gives Baltimore a solid option in case of injury to enter the lineup
The wide receiver position has been an unsolvable problem for the Ravens in recent years. Tight end Andrews’ receiving prowess and Jackson’s rushing ability have kept the offense afloat. But with so many promising players in the receiver room, could it all come together?
Wallace’s promising potential coupled with the Ravens’ lack of depth and starting talent at the receiver position means that Wallace is primed for a breakout year.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images