Friday, August 12, 2011
Ravens smart to land Lee Evans
By James Walker
On Monday, I suggested the Baltimore Ravens call the Buffalo Bills and inquire about Lee Evans. On Friday, the Ravens landed Evans in a trade for next year's fourth-round pick.
This is a nice rebound by Baltimore's front office. The Ravens miscalculated their receiver situation in free agency by releasing Derrick Mason and pursuing a younger, more dynamic Malcom Floyd. Baltimore eventually whiffed on Floyd and it was too late to turn back to Mason, who signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets.
That left the Ravens with a pair of rookies as their No. 2 and No. 3 receivers. Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss may become good players down the road. But if Baltimore is serious about winning a championship in 2011, it can't rely on Smith and Doss to lead that charge this season.
Evans brings deep speed and a veteran presence. According to ESPN's Stats & Information, Evans is third in yards per catch (15.7) among active receivers with at least 300 receptions. Only Greg Jennings (16.2) of the Green Bay Packers and Braylon Edwards (15.8) of the San Francisco 49ers are ahead of Evans.
Starter Anquan Boldin will be the top target underneath, while Evans can blow the top off the defense. Fourth-year quarterback Joe Flacco finally has the speedy receiver he needs to take advantage of his beautiful (but rarely used) deep ball.
Overall, this move makes a lot of sense for the Ravens -- and not just because I suggested it.