The Baltimore Ravens have been using a mixed bag of options at the wide receiver position because they have ceased to receive solid contributions from guy’s like 2011’s fourth-round selection Tandon Doss.
The former Indiana Hoosier has been praised in the past for being a practice All-American at the Ravens’ training camp facility in Owings Mills. The 23-year-old was pegged as one of the potential replacements for the slot receiver position that was held by now-San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin, yet he has failed to live up to those expectations.
It is fairly safe to say the three-year veteran has had his most disappointing training camp in his NFL career and has yet to shine in the bright lights and big stage when he has received the call to play with the starting group.
Doss is a guy who has been able to provide a backup role in the punt return game, but other than that, inconsistency with bringing the ball into his body and lackluster running of the route tree have stagnated his progression as a serious threat in the aerial attack.
Plus, Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette have outplayed Doss early on and seemingly have more of a lock on the final 53-man roster than Doss.
Yes, it’s shocking because in July, Doss was pegged as a virtual lock for one of the top three receiver positions alongside Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. However, Doss’ inability to set himself apart from the pack has made him garner underwhelming criticisms directed his way.
What can he prove against the St. Louis Rams‘ backups Thursday night?
Yes, he will be catching passes from quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Caleb Hanie potentially, but he will be facing backup defensive backs, which you would like to think favors Doss given he has experience against starting corners in the NFL.
He will also have to improve his blocking ability given that the Ravens will have more of a focus on the ground game this season. Plus, he has struggled with communication with his quarterbacks in terms of option routes and picking up blitzes. That must improve if he ever expects to start in this league.
I expect Doss to rise to the occasion and legitimize himself as a viable receiver option for this team going forward, but don’t expect him to replace Boldin’s contributions by any stretch of your imagination.