The Baltimore Ravens came up short at home in Week 10 in a deflating 33-31 loss to the Cleveland Browns. They received some tremendous contributions from their 2023 rookie class, especially their top draft pick and top undrafted free agent.
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 tied a franchise rookie record and their undrafted rookie running back made the most of his shockingly limited opportunities.
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?
RB Keaton Mitchell
The undrafted rookie out of East Carolina University was the Ravens’ most explosive playmaker on offense for the second week in a row which made the fact that he touched the ball less than half as many times as he did in his breakout game truly mind-boggling. Despite just having four touches, he finished second on the team in scrimmage yards behind Flowers with 66. He ripped off a touchdown run of 30-plus yards for the second week in a row on a 39-yard sprint that he bounced outside and exploded up the left sideline on the Ravens’ first offensive possession of the game.
Mitchell also made the most of his lone reception of the game by recording a career-high 32 receiving yards on a halfback screen to move the ball deep into Browns territory on the Ravens’ second offensive possession of the game. He would’ve had his first career receiving touchdown two plays later had he hauled in a pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson that hit him right in his chest when he was one-on-one with a linebacker in the end zone on a wheel route.
WR Zay Flowers
The first-round rookie out of Boston College had his best game in three weeks in Sunday’s losing effort. Lost in the bitter defeat was his standout performance in which he led the team with six targets for five receptions, and 73 receiving yards. Each of his catches went for first downs and he made multiple defenders miss in space on just about all of them.
Zay Flowers tied Torrey Smith’s Ravens rookie franchise record with his 50th reception.— Spencer Schultz (@ravens4dummies) November 13, 2023
He’s been nothing but a playmaker for Baltimore in his rookie campaign. pic.twitter.com/q2ogVLefXb
Flowers’ fifth and final catch was special because it was his 50th of the season, tying him for the single-season rookie record in franchise history with retired Super Bowl champion Torrey Smith. That record was set in 2011 and has stood for over a decade but will likely be broken on the Ravens’ first offensive possession of their next game this upcoming Thursday when they host the Cincinnati Bengals in primetime.
LB Trenton Simpson
The third-round rookie out of Clemson played almost exclusively on special teams but he didn’t play long as he exited the game following the second kickoff of the game and would not return after being ruled out with a concussion.
EDGE Tavius Robinson
The fourth-round rookie out of Ole Miss continues to see a diminished defensive role to veteran Kyle Van Noy but he was still able to make his presence felt on a special team where he recorded his lone solo tackle of the game on the same kick return that Simpson was concussed covering.