The Baltimore Ravens were back on the road in Week 8 and beat the Arizona Cardinals in a 31-24 victory on Sunday. They received some solid contributions from their 2023 rookie draft class but none of them truly stood out.
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 eighth week in a row but didn’t have much of an impact.
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. Undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell was inactive after dealing with a hamstring injury for most of the week. 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 his least productive game of the season thus far and saw his streak of consecutive games with 50 or more scrimmage yards come to an end. It was a disjointed and clunky day overall for the Ravens passing game and even though Flowers led the team in targets with seven, he only managed to record a season-low 19 receiving yards on five receptions in 49 offensive snaps which was 75 percent of the team’s total.
Most of his touches came at or behind the line of scrimmage on short passes and quick screens. His longest reception was just eight yards and he moved the chains just once on one of his catches. The conditions of the field played a factor in preventing him from making some defenders miss on a couple of occasions where he slipped and was subsequently tackled for a short gain. Flowers’ most memorable play didn’t even result in a reception in bounds but was impressive nonetheless because of how he elevated to reel in the pass from Lamar Jackson deep down the right sideline but he wasn’t able to get either of his feet in bounds.
LB Trenton Simpson
The third-round rookie out of Clemson went back to playing exclusively on special teams in this game even though the Ravens were up by as many as 24-7 early in the fourth quarter. Had the Cardinals not shown such tremendous fight until the very end, perhaps Simpson might have seen some defensive action on the last series or two but instead he only saw the field for 15 snaps on special teams and didn’t record a tackle.
EDGE Tavius Robinson
The fourth-round rookie out of Ole Miss also saw his most extensive action on special teams as a member of blocking and coverage units for 18 snaps but saw the field on defense as well. In 17 total defensive snaps, he finished with two assisted tackles. The first came on the Cardinals second drive of the game where he joined forces with defensive tackle Broderick Washington to limit the running back to a one-yard gain. On the second in the third quarter on Arizona’s second drive after halftime, he and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike combined to stop a ball carrier on a run for no gain.
RB Owen Wright
The undrafted rookie out of Monmouth University made his regular season debut with fellow rookie running back Mitchell inactive due to a hamstring injury. He didn’t see the field once on offense as the Ravens rode Gus Edwards heavily in the second and sprinkled in the occasional touch for Justice Hill. Wright also played exclusively on special teams with eight total snaps in the third phase of the game.