Zay Flowers Videos Exemplify Ravens’ Chemistry

Sports Illustrated Writer Not High on Ravens’ Skill Position Players

Despite the abundance of talent the Ravens have on offense, Baltimore was just No. 21 in Sports Illustrated’s Gilberto Manzano’s skill position rankings.

“[Tight end Mark] Andrews probably doesn’t get enough credit for how valuable he’s been for the Ravens as a pass catcher and blocker — expect him to remain one of the best tight ends in the league. But there’s uncertainty surrounding Baltimore’s talented receivers,” Manzano wrote.

“Beckham will need to prove he can stay healthy, as will [Rashod] Bateman, a 2021 first-round pick. Flowers, this year’s first-round pick, is off to a fast start and could be a vital piece in helping Lamar Jackson push the ball downfield in ’23. The Ravens are counting on [J.K.] Dobbins as the lead back, despite his lengthy injury history.”

The injury concern is a fair point. However, Jackson is fully healthy and the Ravens have depth at wide receiver, running back and tight end. I have a strong feeling the No. 21 ranking won’t age well.

Beckham Will Be Another ‘Security Blanket’ for Jackson

Andrews has often been aptly described as Jackson’s security blanket, but ESPN’s Bill Barnwell believes Beckham can complement Andrews in that role.

“It’s going to be a lot of throws over the middle of the field. It’s going to be about getting the ball to Odell in tight spaces and a guy who [Jackson] can trust is going to win those balls where there’s tight coverage,” Barnwell said. “It’s about getting Lamar Jackson a guy besides Mark Andrews who he trusts in the intermediate range, over the middle part of the field, and in tight windows.”

ESPN’s Mina Kimes said the Ravens’ potent rushing attack will allow Beckham to flourish in the middle of the field.

“Because the Ravens’ rushing attack is so hard to stop because defenses’ second-level defenders are so concerned about Lamar Jackson carrying the football or giving it to one of the Ravens’ several good backs, there are often wide-open zones in that part of the field,” Kimes said. “Mark Andrews has benefited from this at times. Lamar Jackson is comfortable throwing there as a result.

“And if defenses decide to put a bunch of bodies there – we’ve seen that approach sometimes – well, then you have Zay Flowers on the outside now, so I really love this pairing. I love OBJ’s skill set. I love that he can flourish where Lamar already likes to throw.”

Kyle Hamilton Named Ravens’ Leading Candidate to Make First Pro Bowl’s Kevin Patra identified one potential first-time Pro Bowler from each AFC team. For the Ravens, it was second-year safety Kyle Hamilton.

“Hamilton struggled out of the gate in Year 1 before the Ravens moved him closer to the line of scrimmage as a slot corner and box safety. He flourished in that role, flashing ability as a short-area cover man, thriving against the run and showing a knack as a pass rusher,” Patra wrote. “In Year 2, the Ravens could use Hamilton as a Derwin James-type defender, aligning him all over the formation to provide ample opportunity for game-changing plays.”

Patra noted that Hamilton stepping up this season is especially important considering the current lack of depth at cornerback due to injuries.

“An already-banged-up Ravens secondary needs playmakers, and Hamilton owns the athleticism and ability to break out in 2023,” Patra wrote.

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