The Baltimore Ravens had all of the healthy members from their 2021 rookie class active for their dramatic 16-13 win on the road over the Chicago Bears to improve to 7-3. Of all the first-year players that suited up for the game, the two first-round picks stood out the most.
Their active list included wide receiver Rashod Bateman, outside linebacker Odafe Oweh, offensive guard Ben Cleveland, defensive back Brandon Stephens, wide receiver Tylan Wallace and undrafted defensive back Ar’Darius Washington for the first time in four games.
Here’s a breakdown of how the rookies fared in Week 11.
WR Rashod Bateman
The first-round rookie didn’t set any new career highs, score his first career touchdown or even lead the team in any receiving statistical category, but was instrumental in propelling the team to victory nonetheless. All three of his receptions—and all of his 29-yards receiving occurred during first-half scoring drives. He picked up a pair of first downs on gains of 12 and 15 just before halftime where he showed off shiftiness after the catch.
Watching Rashod Bateman make people miss after the catch releases raw, uncut dopamine. pic.twitter.com/1ZihMDurNI— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) November 22, 2021
Bateman was only targeted three times in the second half and he didn’t record another catch. However, two of those targets drew defensive pass interference penalties on Bears cornerback Kindle Vildo,r with the second coming on the second play of the game-winning drive for 21 yards.
Rashod Bateman split releasing Kindle Vidor into the seventh layer of HELL, drawing the PI, then making sure the ref throws the flag.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) November 22, 2021
This is his fifth game off of groin surgery.
Absolute baller. pic.twitter.com/bLQDe9D6sm
OLB Odafe Oweh
The first-round rookie didn’t record a sack but got awfully close on several occasions as he consistently brought the heat off the edge and sometimes up the middle on twists and stunts. He recorded three pressures on 27 pass rushing snaps according to PFF, a quarterback hit, and defended the run well, finishing with two total tackles.
Oweh was flagged twice but got bailed out both times by the clutch play of his teammates. After he jumped offsides to make a third-and-6 a third-and-1, the defense forced a turnover on downs two plays later. He also got called for roughing the passer on the 49-yard go-ahead touchdown to Marquise Goodwin but the defense stopped the Bears from converting a two-point conversion attempt on the next play.
OG Ben Cleveland
The third-round rookie was activated from injured reserve on Saturday and appeared in his first game since being carted off the field with a knee injury early in Week 5. However, he essentially served as an emergency backup as he didn’t see a single snap on offense and played just four snaps on special teams, blocking for all three field goals and the lone extra point attempt.
DB Brandon Stephens
The third-round rookie made his fourth career start, played 100-percent of the total defensive snaps for the second time this season and rebounded from a very poor showing in a loss to the Dolphins. He played much better in coverage and allowed just two receptions for 18 yards, albeit both resulted in first downs. Stephens finished with three total tackles and played well on special teams covering kicks and punts.
WR Tylan Wallace
The fourth-round rookie saw his most extensive action on offense of the season in this game but that’s not saying much considering the lack of snaps he’s seen in that phase of the game to date. He didn’t didn’t get targeted on any of his five offensive snaps, including one where he went in motion. However, like he’s been doing for most of his rookie year, he performed well special teams but in could’ve had an even better game.
Wallace misjudged the bounce of a perfectly placed punt by Sam Koch that could’ve been downed inside Chicago’s 5-yard line and it subsequently went into the end zone for a touchback. He also had a punt that he did down at the Bear’s 17-yard line but could’ve let it roll a little bit further as it looked destined to make it inside the 10, at least.
DB Ar’Darius Washington
The undrafted rookie was active for the first time since Week 5 and saw his first and most extensive action on defense with 5 snaps since Week 2. He saw his most extensive playing time on special teams where he took the field for 10 snaps and when he was on the field for defense, Washington lined up in the slot at nickel cornerback and didn’t allow a reception in coverage.