Ravens Urged to Trade Draft Bust After Zay Flowers Boost

Zay Flowers

Getty The Baltimore Ravens can trade a draft flop after Zay Flowers' emergence as a go-to WR.

The Baltimore Ravens got a boost when Zay Flowers emerged as a go-to wide receiver during his rookie year, so the team can afford to look for a trade partner for Rashod Bateman during the 2024 NFL draft.

That’s the view of The 33rd Team’s Jeff Diamond, who believes “It’s unlikely the Ravens will exercise Bateman’s fifth-year option. A draft weekend trade that brings a mid-round pick from a team that valued Bateman highly back in his draft year is best for both the team and the player.”

A trade would also make sense since “Baltimore’s first-round pick last year, Zay Flowers, is clearly the team’s top wide receiver. Pro Bowl TE Mark Andrews is also targeted much more than Bateman, who has had issues with drops. He missed 12 games in 2022 due to a foot injury.”

Diamond detailed there’s even a potential cap saving from dealing Bateman: “The Ravens can also replace Bateman with one of their early-round picks from a strong receiver class and save $2.35 million on this year’s cap; Baltimore could use the room because it only has $9.1 million available.”

Rashod Bateman Has Failed to Deliver

Like Flowers, Bateman was a first-round draft pick, the 27th player selected in 2021. The notable difference is that while Flowers wasted no time becoming a playmaker, Bateman has failed to deliver.

Injuries haven’t helped, but Bateman has also struggled with mechanics. Specifically, being able to reel the ball in on a consistent basis.

The problem has proved costly at times. Particularly during a 17-10 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5, when Bateman dropped what should have been a sure touchdown, a gaffe highlighted by Mr Matthew CFB.

Bateman’s dropped 10 passes in 21 career starts, according to Pro Football Reference. His inconsistent hands have wasted the genuine vertical speed that’s helped Bateman average 12.5 yards per reception.

The ability to stretch the field should tempt a potential trade suitor or two for Bateman. Then the Ravens might be able to repeat the kind of deal they struck when they sent Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown to the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2022 draft.

It’s a deal the Ravens could justify thanks to the presence of Flowers.

Zay Flowers Boosted Ravens’ Passing Game

A debut season featuring 77 catches, 858 yards and six touchdowns established Flowers as Lamar Jackson’s favorite wide receiver. More than the numbers, Flowers proved adept at gashing defenses from every level of the field.

Often viewed as a slot-style, intermediary receiver, Flowers also showcased a useful deep threat. It was summed up by this 75-yard scoring connection with Jackson against the Miami Dolphins, highlighted by Ryan Mink of Ravens.com.

Flowers is the key to a Jackson-led passing game as a roving coverage mismatch offensive coordinator Todd Monken can unleash from multiple spots.

The second-year pro was “involved in a domestic violence investigation earlier this year,” according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley: “The alleged incident occurred Jan. 16 in Owings Mills, Maryland. According to a police report, a woman said she was involved in a ‘violent’ domestic incident with an NFL player. She told police the player’s brother pulled a gun on her.”

The NFL issued the following statement on Thursday, April 18, per Hensley: “Following a review, the NFL concluded there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that Zay Flowers engaged in any activity that violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy. There will be no action taken by the league.”

Hensley also noted how “The NFL’s decision that Zay Flowers did not violate the personal conduct policy comes two months after Baltimore County police suspended an investigation involving the Ravens receiver. Per NFL, Flowers remains eligible to participate in all team activities.”

Flowers will join returning veteran pass-catcher Nelson Agholor as the primary wideouts at Jackson’s disposal. It means there’s room for the Ravens to use a draft pick or two to add talent at the position, especially if Bateman is traded.

A prospect like Oregon’s Troy Franklin could fit the bill as a Flowers-style playmaker.

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