Participating in a dialog with the #RavensFlock about the crew’s passing offense leads to three consensus opinions: An absence of progress throwing the ball this season ought to lead to the instant destruction of the (Greg) Roman Empire; Mark Andrews is an unstoppable power of nature in the center of the discipline; and, Rashod Bateman is a clear-cut breakout star in the making as he assumes a number one position.
While there’s most likely some advantage to these first two, it’s actually honest to take into account the remaining one a leap of religion — constructed on consideration of Bateman’s talent set and observing a few of what he was in a position to placed on tape in an odd 2021 season for the good guys. Sure, we are able to consider it will probably occur. But till he goes out and does it on a constant foundation, nicely, let’s go forward and put a pin in that one for now.
Whether or not it really works out in the finish, Bateman seems to be the de facto prime canine amongst the receiving unit coming into coaching camp. And if there’s no addition of a veteran to the corps earlier than the season begins, it’s simply Andrews and Bateman and… Devin Duvernay? James Proche? An assortment of flavors from the tight-end room?
How about Tylan Wallace?
Though he doesn’t have that prototypical measurement or blazing velocity you’d like to see in an outdoor receiver, make no mistake about it — Wallace is a man who thrives on the perimeter. He is an effective route-runner who thrived on contested catches in school, and he has positive palms. The Ravens don’t want Wallace to be a 100-catch man. In truth, in an ideal world, the operating sport stays wholesome and thrives, and Bateman and Andrews are gobbling up targets.
But Wallace will be that type of participant who will get you 14-17 yards a catch on this offense, both by snagging these contested grabs in opposition to man protection if opponents proceed their blitz parade in opposition to this yr’s Ravens, or by shaking free on a few of Lamar Jackson’s scramble-scramble-scramble-juke-scramble-and-throw performs that may electrify the Bank at any given second. What if Wallace can chip in with 40-50 yards a sport as a 3rd choice, flipping discipline place as soon as per week with a clutch downfield catch?
What if he does that constantly for the first half of the season and groups cease getting so cocky with the balls-to-the-wall blitz packages? A security sitting again is one much less worrying about Andrews or Bateman or the run sport up entrance. A security bracketing a sideline is one much less man attempting to corral Jackson when he tucks the ball and scampers downfield.
It’s an fascinating thought in these canine days of summer season.
Consider Wallace’s tenure at Oklahoma State. After a nondescript freshman marketing campaign, he exploded for practically 1,500 yards on a median of 17.3 yards per catch. The subsequent yr he obtained injured, however nonetheless posted 900 yards on 17 yards a reception in 9 video games. The following yr, after recuperating from a torn ACL, Wallace nonetheless averaged 15 yards a catch, producing 922 yards in 10 video games.
Look, school will not be the actual world, in any occupation. Tim Tebow was one in every of the biggest school gamers the world has ever seen, and would have been overwhelmed out in the NFL by Stoney Case. Remember Adam Morrison, who was a star basketball participant at Gonzaga? Averaged lower than 8 factors a sport in the NBA, even whereas getting further credit score for his mustache. I carried a six pack, funnel and a hose in my backpack all through my collegiate profession. Nowadays? Maybe a flask and a few arthritis medicine.
The actual world is totally different.
But if we’re comfy projecting that Bateman can develop into that lead canine on the outdoors that the followers have been clamoring for, why can’t we additionally check out what Wallace does nicely and take into account these prospects?
We know what Duvernay and Proche convey to the desk. They have each proven to have some expertise working out of the slot, and produce nice palms — Proche is a little more polished as a route runner, and Duvernay comes with extra juice in a straight line. But Wallace brings one thing to the perimeter that this crew doesn’t have an abundance of, and that can rely when the season will get going.
Let’s see if it interprets to the massive leagues.