Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is so confident in the pass-catchers currently on his team that he downplayed the need for a wide receiver.
"We absolutely need a tight end. We do not absolutely need a wide receiver," Bisciotti said Wednesday.
This is a surprising statement considering the Ravens' wide receivers consist of a soon-to-be 36-year-old Steve Smith and a bunch of role players. Beyond Smith, who tailed off in the second half of the season, the Ravens aren't returning a receiver who had more than 25 catches last season.
It's understandable that the Ravens didn't re-sign wide receiver Torrey Smith, who signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers (including $22 million guaranteed). But the Ravens still need to bring in someone to help fill the void of Smith's 15.7-yard per catch average and 11 touchdowns from last season.
The only receivers on the Ravens' roster right now are possession-type ones: Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken and Michael Campanaro. Brown struggles to get separation consistently, Aiken is on his fourth team in four seasons and Campanaro is a question mark because of injuries.
"I've got my guys very high on our wide receivers," Bisciotti said. "So, I'm not desperate for a wideout."
The Ravens have to be careful about how low they prioritize wide receiver. It was two years ago when the Ravens never replaced Anquan Boldin after they traded him to the 49ers and acknowledged they erred in doing so. That was the season when Joe Flacco threw a career-high 22 interceptions and posted a career-low 73.1 passer rating.
Just $7 million of the Ravens' 2015 cap dollars are allocated to the receiver position. Only four teams (the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles) have spent less on their receivers this year.
Many mock drafts have the Ravens selecting a receiver in the first round, but Bisciotti said that might not be the case.
"You look at Pittsburgh that has had some wonderful success in the last five, six years in the third round," Bisciotti said. "They might not be perfectly well-rounded wide receivers, but you can get some fliers in the third round, guys that can take the top off a defense."
Since Flacco joined the Ravens in 2008, the team has drafted one receiver in the first three rounds and that was Torrey Smith in 2011. The Ravens need to give Flacco another weapon in the passing game, and they would be repeating a mistake if they fail to give him one this year.