(Photo courtesy of CollegePressBox.com)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On the same day superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson finally signed his lucrative contract extension, the Ravens wasted no time giving him another pass-catching weapon.
With the 22nd overall pick in the 2023 draft, Baltimore selected Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers, marking the third time in five years that general manager Eric DeCosta has used a first-round pick on a wide receiver. The move comes just a few weeks after the Ravens signed three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year, $15 million contract, reinforcing DeCosta’s desire to take big swings to fix a position that’s long been a successful organization’s Achilles heel.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Flowers is an explosive option from the slot and caught 78 passes for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior season for the Eagles, which earned him third-team AP All-America and first-team All-ACC honors. Flowers set the Boston College single-season record for touchdown receptions and tied the school mark for receptions in 2022. His big senior season followed back-to-back campaigns of at least 44 catches, 740 receiving yards, and five touchdown catches, reflecting the consistent improvement he showed playing in the ACC.
“I can do whatever you need me to do,” Flowers said in a video call with Baltimore reporters. “I can run every route you give me. I can separate. I can make competitive catches.”
Flowers is the sixth wide receiver in franchise history to be selected in the first round, joining Travis Taylor (2000), Mark Clayton (2005), Breshad Perriman (2015), Marquise Brown (2019), and Rashod Bateman (2021). Beckham, Bateman, and Flowers certainly represent the most formidable Baltimore wide receiver trio on paper in a very long time.