Reports: Ravens 'Checking in' With Rams About Cam Akers, Bringing Kenyan Drake in for Visit
The Ravens could be looking to add a running back, according to reports.
Baltimore is one of four teams who have talked with the Los Angeles Rams about a potential trade for Cam Akers, NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported. The Ravens also are bringing in free agent Kenyan Drake, who spent last season with the team, for a visit, according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec.
After J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 1, Head Coach John Harbaugh said that he doesn't anticipate the team signing a running back from outside the organization, but Zrebiec noted that Drake would "add cheap depth."
Gus Edwards and Justice Hill shared the load in this past Sunday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals, combining for 103 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Hill also caught three passes.
The Ravens elevated veteran Melvin Gordon III, a Pro Bowler in 2016 and 2018, from the practice squad for Sunday's game but he didn't see any snaps. Undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell, who flashed in the preseason, is on injured reserve and eligible to return in Week 5.
Akers, 24, was a healthy scratch for the Rams in Week 2 after rushing for 29 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Week 1. He reportedly had a difficult week of practice leading up to last week's game. He's coming off an up-and-down 2022, but he finished the season with three consecutive 100-yard-rushing games.
Akers was selected by the Rams in the second round in 2020 at No. 52 overall, three spots before the Ravens took Dobbins.
Drake, 29, played well for the Ravens last season, rushing for 482 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games (five starts). He also caught 17 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Zay Flowers Showed Route-Running Acumen on Big Play Against Bengals
Zay Flowers's 52-yard reception between two defenders on a dart from Lamar Jackson was one of the highlights of Sunday's win over the Bengals. The play not only showed the rookie wide receiver's speed and sure hands, but also his savvy.
Former NFL cornerback Darius Butler broke down the play on "The Pat McAfee Show" and noted that Flowers ran the route perfectly and put his quarterback in position to succeed.
"This is the difference between good receivers and OK receivers. And this is a young guy already knowing this, already having the feel for these routes," Butler said. "These are the small things that people look at a receiver and say, 'This guy was drafted first or second round, he's big, he's fast, why isn't he on the field, why isn't he getting these reps? These are the little things that separate players."
McAfee added: "That's genius stuff. That's football IQ stuff. Everybody has this route on paper, but it's the intricacies of how you run it that set up the leverage."
Ravens Have 'Weaponized' Linebacker Position
Inside linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen played integral roles in the Ravens defense slowing Joe Burrow and the Bengals' explosive offense on Sunday. ESPN's Mina Kimes took note of how Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald is deploying the talented duo.
"I don't think we can stress enough how well their two starting linebackers are playing," Kimes said. "Patrick Queen is flying around the football field right now. I feel like he was in on tackling on every single screen for a loss or a minimal gain. He's playing so fast.
And then Roquan Smith, his running mate inside, I don't know if it's possible to weaponize a linebacker, but that's exactly what Mike Macdonald is doing. Twenty-five percent of [Smith]'s snaps, he was mugged up at the line of scrimmage. He's a threat to blitz or drop into coverage on every single play. And it's because of that disguise and chaos up from that Joe Burrow struggles so much versus the Ravens' split safety coverages. The spine of this defense is incredible."