Kamar Aiken showed huge improvement in his second season as a Raven, putting up 944 yards and five touchdowns on 75 receptions. Aiken took on a more prominent role after Steve Smith Sr. got hurt on November 1st, seeing 83 of his 127 targets over the second half of the season. Aiken has a good chance of returning to a starting role, as Smith Sr. and last year’s first-round pick Breshad Perriman are both still recovering from injuries, and veteran Mike Wallace is the only real competition on the outside.
The depth chart does look awfully busy in Baltimore, with Perriman, Smith Sr., and Wallace all vying for roles. Additionally, fourth-round pick Chris Moore may get a chance if none of the other players can distinguish themselves in camp. Also, while Aiken was the top option last year, he had only about a 23-percent share of the targets, which was similar to what Smith Sr. saw prior to his injury. Coordinator Marc Trestman’s offense throws a lot of passes, but also spreads the ball around. Aiken may struggle to achieve big-time numbers on this roster.
2016 Bottom Line
Aiken did most of his damage after Joe Flacco was lost with a season-ending knee injury, so he could improve with a healthy Flacco this year. When all is said and done, Aiken is probably the best combination of youth – 27 years old – and proven ability in the receiving corps, and entering the season healthy gives him a leg up on the other guys. He should be considered a high floor option for owners to take as a backup, and he’s excellent value at the end of drafts (which is where his ADP is).