The Baltimore Ravens had all of the healthy members from their 2021 rookie class active for their win over the Cleveland Browns. With the victory, they improved to 8-3 and stay on top of both the AFC North and conference standings as a whole.
Of all the first-year players that suited up for the game, their second first-round pick shined the brightest. Their active list included wide receiver Rashod Bateman, outside linebacker Odafe Oweh, offensive guard Ben Cleveland, defensive back Brandon Stephens, and wide receiver Tylan Wallace.
Here’s a breakdown of how the rookies fared in Week 12.
WR Rashod Bateman
The first-round rookie wasn’t as potent of a chain-mover as he was in his first five career games with just one of his four receptions resulting in a new set of downs. He caught all four of his targets and finished third on the team in receiving with 31 yards. Bateman’s only bad play was that he had the initial tip that led to Lamar Jackson’s first interception on a pass that was meant for tight end Mark Andrews. However, Andrews was triple covered on the play and it might have gotten intercepted even without getting tipped.
OLB Odafe Oweh
The first-round rookie had arguably his best game of the season thus far and certainly the most impactful from a playmaking standpoint since Week 2, when he forced a clutch fumble late.
Oweh brought relentless pressure off the edge all night long and was an absolute menace to whoever the Browns had taking snaps out of shotgun or under center. He led the team in pressures with six according to PFF, recorded two solo tackles, a quarterback hit, and came up with pair of clutch turnovers. His forced and recovered fumbles proved pivotal in deciding the ultimate outcome of the game on a night where points were hard to come by.
The first came on the play after the Browns flipped the field and advanced to the Ravens’ 34 yard line on a 41-yard pass from Baker Mayfield to tight end Harrison Bryant. Cleveland attempted a trick play where wide receiver Jarvis Landry lined up at quarterback and after taking the snap and not having his initial read open, he tried to extend the play by scrambling. Oweh came screaming off the opposite edge and used his elite speed to strip Landry before he could get the ball out for his. It marked Oweh’s fifth sack and third forced fumble of the season.
The second came two drives later. The Browns tried to attack a Ravens’ blitz with a screen but Oweh got immediate pressure in Mayfield’s face and the quarterback lost control ball before he could make the throw. The rookie pounced on the loss ball for his second fumble recovery of the season and gave his offense the ball back near midfield just before halftime.
OG Ben Cleveland
The third-round rookie served as a backup for a second straight week since returning from injury. He didn’t see a single snap on offense and played just four snaps on special teams again, blocking for all three field goals and the lone extra-point attempt.
DB Brandon Stephens
The third-round rookie had a solid outing overall in his fifth career start and third since being elevated to full-time status following the season-ending injury to DeShon Elliott. He finished third on the team in total tackles with five, including a clutch ankle grab that tripped up Browns running back Nick Chubb on a three-yard run that looked like it could’ve picked up a lot more.
Stephens was getting picked on a bit in coverage in the first half on quick passes into the flats but came up with a clutch pass break up on a pass intended for tight end David Njoku. It came on a 3rd-&-7 from the Ravens’ 28 yard line and forced Cleveland to settle for a 46-yard that nearly missed after bouncing off and through the left upright.
WR Tylan Wallace
The fourth-round rookie played just three snaps on offense but he did get his first target of the season. He nearly made an impressive catch on the left sideline but wasn’t able to stay inbounds. Wallace continued to see his most extensive action on special teams where he covered punts well. He forced Browns’ returner JoJo Natson to reverse field and get tackled inside the 20 yard line on the opening kickoff of the game.