OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — On the day they finally reached a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens tried to add more help for their star quarterback.
The Ravens drafted Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers with the No. 22 pick Thursday night, adding another playmaker to their offense. Baltimore announced Jackson’s new five-year deal hours before the draft, but the Ravens also needed to upgrade their wide receiver group this offseason. They signed Odell Beckham Jr., and now they add Flowers.
“He’s just an explosive, competitive, tough guy who can play outside, he can play inside,” general manager Eric DeCosta said. “Very happy for him, for the Ravens. We think he fits what we’re going to do.”
Flowers said he thought he might end up in Baltimore if he was available at No. 22. So the news about Jackson’s contract was highly relevant to him.
“When I seen him sign that, I was like, oh if I go there, it’s going to be a lot of trouble on the field,” Flowers said. “But I was happy for him. Glad he got what he wanted.”
It’s the third time in five drafts that Baltimore took a wideout in the first round. The Ravens picked Marquise Brown in 2019 and Rashod Bateman in 2021. Bateman has struggled to stay healthy and Brown was traded last year for a first-round pick.
“You know what Lamar can do, and you know what Odell can do,” Flowers said. “Then I’m coming in, then we got Bate on the outside, then we have J.K. (Dobbins) in the backfield. So it’s going to be fun.”
The 5-foot-9 Flowers shined last season for a bad Boston College team, catching 78 passes for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the third wide receiver taken in the first round after Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba went to Seattle and TCU’s Quentin Johnston was taken by the Los Angeles Chargers. Then one pick after the Ravens, the Minnesota Vikings took Southern California’s Jordan Addison.
The Ravens came into the draft with only five picks, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them make a trade to acquire more. But when their turn came up, there were plenty of solid options at receiver and cornerback — two positions of need.
Baltimore does not have a second-round pick and has one selection each in rounds 3-6.
Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister
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