Ravens noncommittal on returner position

There's uncertainty at the Baltimore Ravens' returner spot for the first time since 2011. The Ravens created a hole on special teams when they decided to cut Jacoby Jones on Feb. 25.

The top candidate to replace Jones is wide receiver Michael Campanaro, who could be the Ravens' version of Julian Edelman this season. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal when talking about the team's return specialist at the NFL owners meetings.

"I look at it like, it's March and we'll need a returner by September," Harbaugh said late last month. "Campanaro is definitely in the mix."

Campanaro returned two punts for 17 yards as a rookie, and he hurt his hamstring on the last one that sidelined him for six weeks. In the preseason, Campanaro averaged an impressive 30.4 yards on kickoff returns and 6.4 yards on punts.

Another option is No. 3 cornerback Asa Jackson, who has never returned a kick in a regular-season game but has delivered big plays in the preseason. He ran back a punt for a winning 78-yard return in 2013 against Atlanta, and he had an 85-yard return for a touchdown against Detroit that was negated by holding penalty.

The concern for both Campanaro and Jackson is staying healthy. They combined to miss 15 games last season because of injuries.

If the Ravens wanted to add more competition, they could draft a returner with one of their 10 picks this year. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressed an interest in finding a speedy receiver in the middle rounds, and Baltimore might be inclined to bring in someone who can impact the return game as well.

Here are five receiver-returner prospects who should be available in the middle to late rounds:

Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State (third round): He scored six touchdowns off returns in his career (four kickoffs, two punts). Lockett's 2,196 career kick return yards (an average of 28.5 yards) are a school record. It was eight years ago when the Ravens used a third-round pick on a returner from Kansas State. But Yamon Figurs lasted only two seasons.

Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford (fourth or fifth round): He averaged 19.8 yards on punt returns and 25.2 yards on kickoffs. Montgomery scored two touchdowns off punts last season.

Jamison Crowder, WR Duke (fourth or fifth round): The ACC's all-time leader in catches can also make an impact on special teams. Crowder scored four touchdowns (two in each of the past two seasons) off punt returns.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland (fifth or sixth rounds): He was consistently strong over his three-year career with a 25.8-yard average on kickoffs. He scored both of his touchdowns off kickoffs as a freshman, and he didn't get a chance to return punts in his final two seasons.

Kaelin Clay, WR, Utah (seventh round): He made four different All-American teams as a return specialist last season. Clay had a disappointing 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine, but he scored three touchdowns off punt returns and one touchdown off a kickoff return in 2014.