3. Damion Ratley
One room that is overcrowded is the wide receiver room. With Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Rashard Higgins already written in, with a permanent marker, as the team’s number one, two, and three receivers; the bottom of the receiver room are going to be in a dog fight. Essentially Damion Ratley, KhaDarel Hodge, Taywan Taylor, D.J. Montgomery, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and JoJo Natson will be competing for two spots at best.
One thing to keep in mind is when head coach Kevin Stefanski was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator, his unit was rarely in three wide receiver sets. Stefanski’s usage of multiple tight ends sets, as well as his use of a fullback, negates the need to keep more than five wide receivers on the roster.
What will be the determining factors on who is going to be left without a seat when the music ends? Are there rookies that could push a veteran player out of the door?
It stands to reason that to make the team as a wide receiver this season, you will have to be able to contribute on special teams. That factor lends itself to three receivers on the roster. Hodge was a special teams ace in kick coverage last season, and both Peoples-Jones and Natson will be candidates for return duties.
This puts a veteran wide receiver like Ratley at a disadvantageous position. Ratley finished 2019 third on the team in wide receiver reps with 263 according to football outsiders. That accounted for 24.7 percent of the offensive snaps last season. If Ratley is the odd man out, expect Peoples-Jones and Hodge to make up that difference.