The Baltimore Ravens were back at home for the first time in nearly a month in Week 7 and proceeded to beat down the Detroit Lions in a 38-6 victory on Sunday. They received some solid contributions from their 2023 rookie draft class, especially their top pick.
In a game where the Ravens had just three of their six 2023 draft selections and one undrafted first-year pro dressed, their first overall selection was heavily involved for the seventh week in a row.
The only healthy first-year pro not in uniform was sixth-rounder Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, who was inactive after dressing as a backup in previous weeks. Seventh-round offensive guard Andrew Vorhees, who is likely to miss his entire rookie year, remains on the Non-Football Injury list. Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Malik Hamm remains on injured reserve, although he is eligible to return to practice at any time, opening his 21-day window to be activated.
How did the rookies who took the field fare in their latest taste of NFL regular season action?
WR Zay Flowers
The first-round rookie out of Boston College had yet another strong outing that featured several big plays down the field. He hauled in four of his six targets for 75 receiving yards—second-most on the team—for an average of nearly 20 yards per catch and had a long of 46 yard. He led all Ravens receivers in offensive snaps played with 43 which was 72 percent of the total, both of which were season lows as the team looked to get some of the others more involved.
Flowers’ ability to be able to attack and gash opposing defenses at every level of the field make him both a perfect fit and dangerous weapon in Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken’s scheme. The heightened spatial awareness he possess when working the boundary to consistently make sure he is keeping both feet in bounds is rare for a rookie fresh out of college. His standout performance against the Lions on Sunday made him just the second rookie wide receiver since 1970 to have at least 50 scrimmage yards in each of his first seven games. The first was Ja’Marr Chase of their AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 during his Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign.
LB Trenton Simpson
The third-round rookie out of Clemson played mostly on special teams as has been doing for the majority of the season thus far but he was able to get his second taste of defensive snaps in the fourth quarter when several backups checked in with the victory well in hand. Simpson didn’t see the field on defense until the final drive of the game and played just eight defensive snaps but he did manage to record his first career solo tackle. It came on the second-to-last play of the game when he took down Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the open field after a seven-yard gain.
EDGE Tavius Robinson
The fourth-round rookie out of Ole Miss saw less playing time earlier in the game than he has grown accustomed to lately because Odafe Oweh returned to the lineup. Nevertheless, Robinson still saw the field on defense more than he did on special teams (18-10). He recorded a solo tackle on a nice hustle play in the fourth quarter where he was able to limit Gibbs to a two-yard gain on a check down after fourth-year safety Geno Stone got juked on the initial attempt.
RB Keaton Mitchell
The undrafted rookie out of East Carolina University saw his first action on offense on Sunday against the Lions after playing exclusively on special teams in his debut last week. He played just two offensive snaps before leaving the game with a hamstring injury late but managed to record the first regular season touch of his career. On his first offensive snap, he was the motion man on a nine-yard carry by veteran running back Justice Hill on second-and-20 with under a minute left in the first quarter. His first touch came two plays later on that same drive early in the second quarter. He made a nine-yard reception where he flashed his speed and elusiveness in the open field as he nearly picked up a first down.