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Ravens sending message to Clayton, Williams?

4/24/2010

Now that the 2010 NFL draft is over, let's begin looking deeper into some of these late-round picks.

One thing that stood out to me Saturday was the Baltimore Ravens taking another receiver in fifth-round pick David Reed, who had a productive year for Utah in 2009 with 81 catches for 1,188 yards.

The Ravens are already stacked at receiver. It's to the point where any rookie surprises in training camp could come at the expense of pushing a veteran like Demetrius Williams or Mark Clayton for a roster spot.

Was this a message?

"We don't really send messages," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters Saturday. "To me, it goes without saying that it’s a competitive league. It's tough to play in the NFL, it’s tough to make a team, it’s tough to earn playing time, it’s tough to start. That's why you have so much respect for the players in this league.

"Our guys know they have to compete, and just like we’ve said all along, the guys who play the best are going to be the guys who play. So, David Reed will get in there and compete, and we’ll see what he can do."

Williams and Clayton were highly touted coming out of college but have underachieved in their pro careers. Baltimore clearly is tired of waiting, which was one reason the team made the blockbuster deal for Anquan Boldin and also signed Donte’ Stallworth in free agency.

On top of that, drafting another receiver in Reed further raised my antennas.