Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers made an impact in Monday’s 29-28 preseason defeat to the Washington Commanders. Flowers recorded two receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. Flowers appears capable of being Baltimore’s go-to No. 1 wide receiver this season.
Flowers’ 26-yard score was a thing of beauty. Ravens quarterback Josh Johnson avoided the pressure and located Flowers open near the right sideline. Flowers then gained 20-plus yards after the catch and elusively avoided several would-be tacklers en route to the end zone.
Ravens’ first-round pick Zay Flowers: pic.twitter.com/GEWI9Z3cyz
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 22, 2023
Flowers’ second reception was an impressive 11-yard chain-mover. The former Boston College standout spun out of a tackle attempt by fellow first-rounder Emmanuel Forbes. Flowers then shook the second tackler before crossing the yellow marker. Flowers displayed dynamic short-area explosiveness in condensed quarters.
This SPIN move by Zay Flowers 😳
Flowers also already scored a TD on his FIRST drive as a Baltimore Raven (26 yards).
Keith Williams (Ravens assistant WR’s coach) said Flowers is already “better” than they expected.
Flowers was reportedly “exposing” Commanders defenders… pic.twitter.com/mvWtpoFDje
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 22, 2023
Flowers has been electric throughout training camp practices and the preseason. Flowers’ teammates have been impressed with his acclimation. He’s come as advertised.
The Ravens added Flowers in an attempt to upgrade last year’s 28th-ranked passing attack that averaged 178.8 passing yards per game. Flowers was drafted just weeks after the Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr. in unrestricted free agency. First-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken has designs on fielding a pass-happier offense.
Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson has a new contract and plenty of receivers to target. Many view Beckham Jr. as Baltimore’s No. 1 wide receiver, but we wouldn’t be shocked if Flowers claimed that role.
Beckham Jr. is attempting to make a triumphant return after sitting out the entire 2022 campaign due to a torn ACL suffered in Super Bowl LVI. Beckham Jr. should be effective in Baltimore’s offense, but aging 30-year-old athletes that return to action after missing a full season don’t exactly have the greatest track record. He may not be the dominant target hog of yesteryear.
Rashod Bateman will join Flowers and Beckham Jr. in three-receiver sets, but the former Minnesota standout has a lot to prove in 2023. A first-round pick in the 2021 draft, Bateman has suffered through two injury-filled campaigns. Betting on Bateman to lead all Ravens receivers is a risky proposition given his history. Bateman is entering a make-or-break season.
Ravens superstar tight end Mark Andrews may be Baltimore’s true No. 1 receiver, but the Ravens went searching for better compliments. Andrews led all Ravens pass-catchers in targets last season with 113. Flowers could be the Ravens’ second-most targeted receiver.
Flowers provides the Ravens with inside-outside versatility at receiver, making him an option in 11 and 12-personnel groupings. Flowers is a dynamic route-runner who does an outstanding job attacking leverage while altering his route speed and tempo. He is an explosive threat after the catch, as proven during Monday’s touchdown.
The Ravens revamped their passing attack this offseason in an attempt to contend alongside the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, and Buffalo Bills in the AFC’s crowded playoff picture. Jackson is going to drop back in Monken’s offense with more consistency. Zay Flowers could quickly assert himself as Baltimore’s No. 1 receiver.
- Sep 29, 2023
- Sep 29, 2023