During the 2022 season, the Baltimore Ravens offense was missing depth at the wide receiver position. As second-year pass catcher Rashod Bateman spent much of the campaign injured, tight end Mark Andrews was at times the only elite threat on the field.
Now heading into the NFL draft, the Ravens are facing several major questions about the offensive side of the ball. Star quarterback Lamar Jackson’s future with the team still appears to be uncertain, but they are still adding talent on the offensive side of the ball. With how they have approached free agency, it appears that they anticipate that Jackson will be their starter come Week 1.
On Sunday, to the shock of many, the Ravens added Odell Beckham Jr. on a one-year deal worth up to $18 million. While he is one year removed from the field, if he can return to full force, he will help elevate this offense in a big way. In addition to the arrival of Beckham, Bateman is working toward his own return to the field.
With the addition of Beckham, the Ravens are making it clear that they want to improve their pass catchers. The next place that they look to make their move could be through the draft.
When the Ravens make their selection at pick 22, many of the top wide receivers could already be off the board. But in a class full of talented pass catchers, they could still add a strong prospect with a high upside. This could very well be Boston College wide receiver, Zay Flowers.
If Baltimore is looking to add a wide receiver that compliments what they have already put together, Flowers could be just that.
Here are three reasons why Zay Flowers could be a perfect fit for the Ravens in the draft.
3. Fit with the Ravens
The Ravens have assembled an offense that attacks with speed and can stretch the field. There is arguably no player in this year’s draft class that fits that mold more than Zay Flowers.
During his time at Boston College, few players were as productive as Flowers. Over 48 collegiate games, he recorded 200 receptions for 3,056 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. On the ground, he added 345 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 57 total carries.
In 2022, Flowers played the best football of his collegiate career. While appearing in 12 games, he set career highs across this board. This included him hauling in 78 receptions for 1,077 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
With his playstyle, and ability to stretch the field, Flowers could be the perfect piece to complement this offense. Adding him alongside a bigger receiver in Bateman, and an all-around talent in Beckham could help this group stretch the field. In addition, it could give Andrews even more chances to shine at the tight end position.
2. Flexibility at wide receiver
With his arrival in the NFL, many anticipate that Flowers will work primarily out of the slot. But based on where he lined up at Boston College, this doesn’t have to be the case.
In his final collegiate season, Flowers was on the field for a total of 506 passing downs. Just 166 of these snaps came with him at the slot, with 337 coming with him out wide.
While Flowers measures in at 5’9″ and 182 pounds, he plays the game as if he’s much bigger. He can often win downfield, even when playing against bigger defenders.
While the Ravens have assembled a quick-hitting offense, Lamar Jackson has regularly shown that he can push the ball down the field. Adding a fast wide receiver in Flowers could give the unit an extra layer to an already established group.
1. Ability to develop into an elite talent
In each of his four seasons at Boston College, Zay Flowers managed to grow his game in each outing. While gradually improving every year, it is expected that he will do the same at the next level.
Placing Flowers alongside one of the NFL’s elite talents in Beckham could give him all the tools he needs to develop his game. In addition, with his arrival, the Ravens would add a potential foundational piece.
When looking at the current wide receiver room assembled, many of the players are further along in their careers. With Flowers joining the mix, alongside Bateman, it would give the offense two young playmakers with elite upside.
Flowers is expected to make an impact early in his career, regardless of where he lands. But it is clear that there are few better fits for him than with the Ravens. If he is on the board at pick 22, it may be hard for Baltimore to not add the Boston College pass catcher.
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