As the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off this week, the Ravens' need at wide receiver is clear, but who could be available at pick No. 22 is a mystery. The Combine may give some clues, but NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah already has a favorite fit.
Jeremiah likes Boston College wideout Zay Flowers, a shorter-statured, but electric playmaker.
"Zay Flowers is an overall player I love," Jeremiah said during a media conference call Friday. "The suddenness there I think would be a fun player to match up in that offense."
Flowers posted 78 catches for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, earning his second first-team All-ACC honor. He's extremely shifty after the catch and will look to show off his pure speed in the 40-yard dash at the Combine. Flowers already reportedly had a strong showing at the Shrine Bowl.
The concerns with Flowers will be about his size, as he measures in at 5-foot-9, 182 pounds. But Jeremiah points to another similarly statured wideout who has done quite well in the NFL – TY Hilton. Jeremiah called Flowers a "clone" with practically the exact same height, weight and wingspan.
"It's one of those deals when you watch, gosh, he reminds me of TY Hilton, and then when you pull the numbers they're like twins," Jeremiah said. "I think [Flowers] is a great player. I think he is going to go somewhere into the late first into the early second round. We'll see how he runs, but I'm a big fan of his."
It should be mentioned that the Ravens reportedly attempted to sign Hilton back in 2021.
The reason why Jeremiah likes Flowers to Baltimore is because of that speed and elusiveness. New Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken talked about building the passing game around "space players" and that's what Flowers can create. Plus, with as dangerous as the Ravens are on the ground, Baltimore needs speedsters to take advantage of big-play opportunities over top safeties creeping into the box.
"I think complementing that with speed is always the way to go [for the Ravens]," Jeremiah said. "Where you can hit a slant and somebody can go. You just have to break one tackle where you can get on top of coverage because you have flat safeties because they have to come down and play the run. So I'm always going to lean towards guys that can really go."
While Jeremiah said this year's wide receiver class is not "quite what we've seen in the years recently here," it could mean the Ravens have a chance to one of the top talents at No. 22. In 2019, the Ravens made Marquise Brown the first wide receiver drafted all the way at No. 25. That year's wide receiver class turned out to be loaded.
What Jeremiah does see a lot of in this year's wide receiver class is just what the Ravens could use more of – speed. Tennessee Jalin Hyatt, who won the Biletnikoff Award for college football's best wide receiver last year, averaged 18.9 yards per catch and scored 15 touchdowns with numerous big plays over the top. TCU's Quentin Johnston is a big-bodied target who can fly, and smaller-statured (even smaller than Flowers) "Tank" Dell of Houston reminds Jeremiah of Brown. Jeremiah also mentioned Cincinnati's Tyler Scott, Purdue's Charlie Jones, and Oklahoma's Marvin Mims as Day 2 options.
"There's flyers in this draft," Jeremiah said. "There's going to be options throughout the draft if you want guys that can roll and get on top of coverage."