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The Ravens have drafted or signed freakishly tall wide receivers in the past.
They drafted Clarence Moore (6-foot-6) in the sixth round in 2004. They selected Justin Harper (6-foot-3) in the seventh round in 2008. After the 2010 season, Baltimore signed James Hardy (6-foot-5).
What do they all have in common?
None played for more than three years in the NFL.
Ravens sixth-round wide receiver Tommy Streeter (6-foot-5) is hoping to break the pattern.
“I’m extremely hungry,” Streeter said.
“I kind of feel like a lot of people didn’t believe in me, even though I believed in myself. … Ever since I got that phone call on draft day, I had the mindset that I was willing to work and I’m going to be the best Baltimore Raven that I can be now that I’m in this position. And I’m ready for whoever lines up in front of me.”
There are certainly successful very tall receivers in the NFL, including San Francisco’s Randy Moss (6-foot-4), New Orleans’ Marques Colston (6-foot-4) and San Diego’s Malcom Floyd (6-foot-5).
But the Ravens’ previous ventures into that type of receiver hasn’t produced much in results.
Moore, who was taken out of Northern Arizona, saw perhaps the most success. He started six games as a rookie and played in 15, catching 24 passes for 293 yards. He was primarily a red-zone target, hauling in four touchdown passes.
Despite flashes of major potential, Harper had trouble with his hands in preseason games and was only activated from the practice squad for two games in his three years in Baltimore. He didn’t develop into much of a factor on special teams.
Hardy was injured throughout almost all of training camp last year, and was released in the final cuts. He hasn’t signed with another team since.
Streeter is confident he can be a scoring target like Moore was as a rookie.
“That’s one thing that I’m looking to bring, [those] mismatch and jump-ball situations in the red zone,” Streeter said. “Me being a receiver, I feel like you don’t always have to run the ball down there. It’s OK to throw a fade. I’m hoping they incorporate that in the game plan.”
With the Ravens having a bounty of veteran wide receivers already with Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, LaQuan Williams and David Reed, Streeter will likely have to contribute on special teams if he’s going to have a chance to develop as a wide receiver and make it in the NFL.
Streeter said he played special teams his first two years at Miami. He was on punt coverage, punt block and kickoff coverage.
“I have a foundation in it, but I could get better with coaching,” he said. “I’m just going to do whatever the coaches tell me to do.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh liked what he saw from Streeter in rookie camp. The rookie showed off his long arms, snatching balls behind, above and near his feet on the first day of practice. He also had the speed to get behind a defense.
“First impression, he is really tall,” Harbaugh said after Sunday’s practice. “Second impression, he is really fast. I’d say third impression; he is going to be a good player. He is a young guy, but a talented guy, and we’re excited to work with him.”