The Baltimore Ravens had a handful of members from their rookie class active for their thrilling 31-25 comeback overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. All the first-year players that suited up and finished the game played well.
Their active list included outside linebacker Odafe Oweh, offensive guard Ben Cleveland, defensive back Brandon Stephens, wide receiver Tylan Wallace and defensive back Ar’Darius Washington. Washington was active for the first time in two weeks.
First-round wide receiver Rashod Bateman didn’t make his debut as many fans had hoped but he’s expected to suit up for the first time next week when the Las Angeles Chargers come to town.
Here’s a breakdown of how the rookies fared in Week 5.
OLB Odafe Oweh
The first-round rookie continued to bring the heat and apply consistent pressure of the edge this week. He finished with three solo tackles and notched his third career sack at the most opportune time.
With the Colts already up 7-0 and driving to potentially go up by double digits in the first quarter, Oweh came up clutch with a crucial strip-sack. He beat veteran left tackle Eric Fisher with a great get-off and speed to close quickly on Carson Wentz for the sack and forced fumble.
OG Ben Cleveland
The third-round rookie entered the game at the left guard on the Ravens’ fifth drive of the game but his day was cut short after just four plays. He suffered a knee injury and had to be carted off to the locker room.
Evaluating an offensive lineman’s performance based on a handful of live reps wouldn’t be accurate or fair. Although, when Cleveland has been in the lineup this year, the interior of the line appears to get more push on run plays and hold up better in pass protection. Ben Powers finished this game strong in that area.
DB Brandon Stephens
The third-round rookie made his second straight career start in the place of DeShon Elliott, who was out with a quad injury, and performed admirably. He played well coming downhill in run support, nearly had a sack on a blitz, didn’t have any major lapses in coverage was among the gang of Ravens defenders that engulfed Colts running back Jonathan Taylor for a key tackle for loss late in the fourth quarter on the drive that ended in a blocked field goal.
Stephens finished with a team-leading 11 total tackles including five solos, one on special teams, and made several clean-up plays after another defender made first contact. He has improved his open-field tackling to a degree but still has some work to do as does most of the second and third-level defenders not named Chuck Clark.
WR Tylan Wallace
The fourth-round rookie remains a fixture and one of the most consistent players on special teams. He looked good on kick and punt coverage again and even recorded an assisted tackle on a kick return in the third quarter. Even with Bateman out, Wallace still hardly saw any action on offense in the tight game outside of three plays where wasn’t targeted.
DB Ar’Darius Washington
The undrafted rookie free agent was active for the first time since Week 2, likely because Geno Stone was out with a thigh injury. He primarily played on special teams, where he made a solo tackle on a kick return at the start of the third quarter. Washington was on the field for one defensive snap just before halftime, when the Ravens were running a prevent defense to keep the Colts out of field goal range.