Following three days full of surprises, the 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. With 259 players hearing their names called, they now know where they will start their professional careers in the league. Contending organizations such as the Baltimore Ravens have high expectations for the 2023 season, which makes their draft picks even more important.
After looking like a Super Bowl contender for most of the 2022 season, the Ravens’ season did not end as expected. With quarterback Lamar Jackson out with an injury, they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 24-17 in the AFC Wild Card Round. Baltimore had a chance at taking the lead, but a fumble at the goal line was returned for a Cincinnati touchdown.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, Baltimore’s offseason brought fans hope once again. After months of rumors, Jackson ended up signing a five-year contract worth $260 million. Additionally, the team added two-time All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to help the offense.
Since the goal is to go further in 2023, this year’s rookies might need to step up right away. The team made a total of six selections in the draft, including one in the first round and one on Day 2.
With all that in mind, here are all the rookies from the Baltimore Ravens’ 2023 NFL Draft class.
1st round, No. 22 overall: Zay Flowers, WR – Boston College
Despite signing Beckham Jr. in the offseason, the front office still decided to go for a wide receiver in the first round. The Ravens ended up selecting Zay Flowers out of Boston College with the No. 22 overall pick.
In his final season as an Eagle, Flowers caught 78 passes for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns, all the best marks of his career. He also added 40 yards on the ground and returned seven punts for a total of 43 yards.
For his performance, the wideout earned a Third-Team All-American selection. He was also a First-Team All-ACC player in 2020 and 2022.
During his time in college, Flowers broke many records, including becoming first in career touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards at Boston College.
Since Beckham Jr. has not played for more than a year as he was recovering from an ACL injury, Flowers could be one of Jackson’s main targets right away. With 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman struggling to stay healthy in his first two seasons in the league, Flowers could also be the team’s future at the wideout position.
3rd round, No. 86 overall: Trenton Simpson, LB – Clemson
Baltimore would only make another selection in the third round on Day 2. This time, the Ravens went defense by choosing linebacker Trenton Simpson out of Clemson.
As a junior with the Tigers, Simpson recorded 73 total tackles with 41 being solo and four being for loss. He also had three pass breakups and two forced fumbles plus 2.5 sacks.
With his help, Clemson finished No. 13 in the final AP poll and made it to the Orange Bowl after winning the conference. The Tigers also had a top-30 defense in the nation, allowing just 334.4 total yards of offense per game.
Simpson ended up earning his first All-ACC nod, being part of the third team.
4th round, No. 124 overall: Tavius Robinson, DE – Ole Miss
In the fourth round, the Ravens went with another defender. Baltimore selected defensive end Tavius Robinson out of Ole Miss with the No. 124 overall pick.
In his final year as a Rebel, Robinson registered 43 total tackles with 16 being solo and seven for loss. He also forced four fumbles, recovered two and defended one pass. Most importantly, he had a career-high 7.0 sacks, the best mark on the team.
Robinson was also recently selected in the eighth round of the 2023 Canadian Football League Draft. Born in Canada, the defender spent some time at the University of Guelph before coming to the United States to play for Ole Miss.
5th round, No. 157 overall: Kyu Blu Kelly, CB – Stanford
One position that the Ravens needed to address in the draft was cornerback. Three-time Pro Bowler Marcus Peters is still a free agent and has dealt with injuries for the past couple of years. Fellow veteran Kyle Fuller remains unsigned after appearing in just one game in 2022 due to a torn ACL.
With that in mind, Baltimore selected Kyu Blu Kelly out of Stanford with the No. 157 overall pick in the fifth round.
As a senior, Kelly had 35 total tackles with 26 being solo. He also defended six passes and recovered one fumble as he received his second consecutive Second-Team All-Pac-12 honor.
6th round, No. 199 overall: Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OT – Oregon
With Jackson back, Baltimore needs all the help it can get to keep him healthy. The quarterback missed 11 total games due to injuries in the past two seasons, including the Wild Card game against the Bengals this year.
Because of that, the Ravens chose offensive tackle Malaesala Aumavae–Laulu out of Oregon in the sixth round, No. 199 overall.
He started all 13 games for the Ducks in the 2022 season, playing a team-high 902 offensive snaps, including 878 at right tackle and 24 at right guard. He earned a grade of 77 from Pro Football Focus last season. Additionally, Aumavae-Laulu received a 77.8 pass-blocking grade and a 76.0 run-blocking grade.
7th round, No. 229 overall: Andrew Vorhees, OG – USC
To wrap up their 2023 NFL Draft, the Ravens went with another offensive lineman. Baltimore ended up selecting guard Andrew Vorhees out of USC in the seventh round with the No. 229 overall pick.
For the past two seasons, he was the highest-graded offensive lineman in the Pac-12. With his help and protection, quarterback Caleb Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 2022.
A First-Team All-American, Vorhees tore his ACL during the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Once considered a potential first-round player, the Trojan ended up falling to the seventh round to the Ravens.
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