The Case For Zay Flowers
The Ravens used a first-round pick on Zay Flowers in April. The Boston College standout has a lot of Antonio Brown and Steve Smith in his game. Like Brown and Smith, Flowers lacks the prototypical size for the traditional WR1 in the NFL. However, size has never hurt the explosive pass catcher before.
Flowers flexes elite ball tracking and body control downfield. He is sure-handed and boasts a much more expansive route tree than he gets credit for. The new Baltimore receiver is a spark plug and should have a chance at scoring any time the ball goes his way. If Monken is smart, Flowers will see heavy usage as a rookie.
The Case Against Zay Flowers
Rookie wide receivers have taken the league by storm in recent years. However, that is not always the case for young pass catchers as they integrate into the NFL pace of play. Flowers should have no problem fitting in, but growing pains are certainly possible. The first-rounder did not line up against NFL talent often with Boston College, so the jump in competition might be jarring for the first month or two.
The first four-to-six weeks of the season will see a “wide receiver by committee” approach atop the depth chart. Bateman and Beckham Jr. will probably eat up targets early on before giving way to Flowers as the season hits its midway point. From that point on, Flowers should seize WR1 duties in the offense. By the time Christmas rolls around, Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers could be one of the most lethal duos in the NFL.