The Baltimore Ravens had most of their rookie class active for their dramatic 19-17, last-minute win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. The rookies that did suit up played well in all three phases and didn’t make any critical errors.
Their active list included outside linebacker Odafe Oweh, offensive guard Ben Cleveland, defensive back Brandon Stephens, wide receiver Tylan Wallace and outside linebacker Daelin Hayes for the first time this season. Undrafted defensive back Ar’Darius Washington was the only inactive rookie not on injured reserve.
Here’s a breakdown of how the rookies fared in Week 3.
OLB Odafe Oweh
The first-round rookie didn’t produce any splash plays or force a game-saving turnover in his first career start but still looked good nonetheless. With veteran Justin Houston out on the COVID-19 reserve list, he saw his most extensive playing time to date and played well.
Oweh generated some decent pressure as a pass rusher but made his biggest impact as a run defender. He finished with four total tackles — two solo and two assisted — including one where he helped bring down running back D’Andre Swift for a loss of two yards. He made a nice play to hold Lions rookie receiver Amon Ra St. Brown to a two-yard gain on a jet sweep but got dragged into the end zone by Swift on the next play.
LG Ben Cleveland
The third-round rookie continued to rotate with third-year pro Ben Powers at left guard for a second consecutive week and played solid. He first entered the game on the Ravens’ third drive, started the second half, and was a part of the blocking unit on Justin Tucker’s record-setting field goal to win the game. Cleveland can be seen below as the first one to throw his hands up to signal that the kick was good before proceeding to jump up and down in celebration.
No, we will not stop tweeting every angle of Justin Tucker’s kick. pic.twitter.com/bRp9YYTy5k— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) September 26, 2021
DB Brandon Stephens
The third-round rookie didn’t see the field a lot early on in this game, as it appeared that he had lost his role as the third safety in sub-packages to second-year pro Geno Stone. However, after DeShon Elliott left the game in the third quarter with a quad injury, he was inserted into starting free safety spot and played well for the most part.
He teamed up with Chuck Clark to force a leaping Swift out of bounds half a yard short of the goal line and assisted Broderick Washington on taking down Jamaal Williams for a four-yard loss on Detroit’s final drive of the game.
Stephens didn’t have any glaring lapses in coverage allowing just one catch for 11 yards and a first down on a late 3rd-&-7. One area he still needs to improve upon is his open-field tackling, where he needs to make more form tackles than diving attempts at the ankles of pass catchers as they run past him.
WR Tylan Wallace
The fourth-round rookie didn’t see any time on offense in this game but he remains a staple on special teams as he waits for his opportunity to contribute as a pass-catcher. That chance likely won’t come anytime soon, barring injury or if the Ravens are up big late where backups can check into the game. He looked good on kick coverage in this game and was often one of, if not the first player in the vicinity of the returner.
OLB Daelin Hayes
The fifth-round rookie made his regular season debut in his hometown but his homecoming was cut short after he left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury. He was helped off the field before being carted to the locker room and didn’t return to action.
The Ravens were shorthanded at outside linebacker heading into this game after Houston and Jaylon Ferguson were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday. So, Hayes would’ve seen extensive playing time had he not gone down. Before he got hurt he was being used as a situational pass rusher on third-and-long. He was on the field for the Lions’ first third down of the game and got a good pressure around the edge on the play he sustained his injury.