OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The largest and fiercest competition on the Baltimore Ravens' roster is at wide receiver. The Ravens are carrying 12 wide receivers right now, and only half are expected to make it when rosters are cut down to 53 players Sept. 5.
It's a battle among some of the youngest players on the team. Outside of Steve Smith, none of the other receivers are older than 26.
Kamar Aiken and Jeremy Butler separated themselves from the others during Saturday's practice. Both took advantage of increased reps due to the absences of Breshad Perriman (knee) and Marlon Brown (undisclosed).
Aiken made difficult grabs on two Matt Schaub passes that sailed behind him while running across the middle. Butler made another one-handed reception (the second straight day he's done so), and he pulled in a nice sideline catch from Schaub.
"There have been some tremendous plays out there each and every day," Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said. "There’s really some tremendous competition outside of Steve [Smith], and everybody will be given a position -- for most of these guys -- to have a chance to work with Joe [Flacco]. We’re moving people around, and those guys continue to move forward and have good days, and they get another opportunity, and we just see how it all unfolds as we move through camp and the preseason games.”
The Ravens' receiving group is composed of one Pro Bowl player (Smith), two rookie draft picks (Perriman and Darren Waller), two returning backups (Brown and Michael Campanaro), two veterans who previously played elsewhere in the league (Aiken and Aldrick Robinson), two undrafted rookies (DeAndre Carter and Daniel Brown), one first-year player coming off injured reserve (Butler) and two converted receivers (Tom Nelson was a safety and Trent Steelman was a college quarterback).