The Baltimore Ravens had all of the healthy members from their 2021 rookie class active for their narrow 31-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Following the decisive defeat, they could fall to second place in the AFC North with an 8-6 record. Depending on the outcome of Monday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Raiders, they could be in third by end of the night.
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 15.
WR Rashod Bateman
The first-round rookie wasn’t able to follow up his breakout performance against the Browns with another strong outing versus the Packers. He was only targeted twice, once in each half. The first came on a deep shot to the end zone where he had to turn into a defensive back to prevent an interception and the second was short reception for five yards. He did a decent job as a downfield blocker in the run game and even helped quarterback Tyler Huntley pick a couple of extra yards on a 15-yard scramble in the fourth quarter on the second touchdown drive.
OLB Odafe Oweh
The first-round rookie didn’t have a huge impact on this game outside of being flagged for a ridiculously soft roughing the passer penalty on the Packers’ second drive of the first half. He had generated a good pressure to force Rodgers to throw the ball away but got called for a foul after he hardly shoved him from behind. Other than that he finished with just one combined tackle and logged just one pressure on 22 pass-rushing snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
This is what Odafe Oweh was flagged for. #Ravens pic.twitter.com/FYVO323qzU— Bobby Trosset (@bobbywbal) December 19, 2021
OG Ben Cleveland
The third-round rookie made his first career start in place of Ben Powers at left guard after a foot injury caused him to miss the game. Even he’s been active for the last four weeks, this marked the first time he saw the field outside of blocking for field goals and extra points. Cleveland played all 70 of the Ravens’ total offensive snaps, looked solid in pass protection, and imposed his will on a few occasions in the run game. He notched a nice pancake block that helped spring running back Latavius Murray for a 16-yard gain in the first half.
Cleveland was wrongfully flagged for a false start penalty in the second half when he was simply just getting set. The five yards that were tacked on made a 4th-&-6 scenario that forced the Ravens to settle for a field goal after they initially lined up to go for it on fourth down.
DB Brandon Stephens
The third-round rookie looked good in his sixth consecutive start and the eighth overall in his career. He didn’t allow a single reception in 36 coverage snaps according to PFF and finished with five total tackles. In the one instance that he was targeted in coverage, he prevented Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling from making a reception on a nicely thrown ball deep down the left side of the field on 3rd-&-19 to force a punt.
Brandon Stephens is STEPPING UP. Love to see it. His transition when he ID’d the cross was AWESOME. Loose hips, physical.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) December 19, 2021
Has a lot of learning to do, but he’s doing it! Fun to watch.
WR Tylan Wallace
The fourth-round rookie played a season-high 14 snaps on offense and made a nice diving snag to record his first career reception for five yards. Wallace didn’t haul in his other target but did get wide open on a crossing route but Huntley decided to take off and run to pick up the first down instead. He continued to be active on special teams covering kicks and punts.
1st Career Reception #Blessed #WallceGame pic.twitter.com/ajlMtgF8GE— Tylan Wallace (@OfficialTylan2) December 20, 2021