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Late for Work 8/4: Peter King Says Zay Flowers Is the 'Most Impressive Rookie I Have Seen'

WR Zay Flowers
WR Zay Flowers

Peter King Heralds Zay Flowers as the No. 1 Rookie He's Seen in Six Camps

Through a week of camp, one player who's stood out above their peers is rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers. Local and national media who've attended each day have spoken about his performance and have followed up with tweets and articles. The latest to be amazed by the first-round receiver is NBC Sports’ Peter King, one of the most tenured and respected figures in the business.

"The most impressive rookie I have seen in six camps is Zay Flowers," King said. "He lines up across from a corner and unless they literally interfere with him or hold him, he has tremendous separation on almost every cut. His quickness, his speed out of cuts is going to be a thing to watch in the NFL this year."

It should be mentioned that King has only been to five other camps. But King isn't alone in being impressed by the rookie with many daily media members noticing Flowers.

Pressbox’s Bo Smolka: "Every year, the first-round rookie is bound to generate a lot of attention, and thus far, Flowers has looked like everything the Ravens had hoped he would be. He works tirelessly, runs hard, cuts well, gets open and catches the ball. And he always looks as if there's nowhere else he'd rather be than on the practice field."

The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec: "It would be hard to make a better first impression than Flowers has made," Zrebiec wrote. "In offensive meetings, he peppers coaches and teammates with questions. In the weight room, he looks for ways to do more, not less. And on the field, he's made an instant connection with Jackson."

Baltimore Positive’s Luke Jones: "Zay Flowers excelled in Tuesday's 1-on-1 drills and caught a pair of touchdowns, one in an 11-on-11 goal-line drill and another during a 7-on-7 period. The rookie first-round pick continues to look the part of someone who will be heavily involved in this passing offense come Week 1."

The Baltimore Banner's Aron Yohannes: "Flowers caught cornerback Corey Mayfield Jr. flat-footed on a nasty corner-post route. Flowers sprinted about 10 yards before dropping a quick fake inside, which stumbled Mayfield to the ground before he ran down field and caught the pass in stride. Flowers won all three of his matchups in one-on-one today."

2018 NFL Re-Draft Sees Five Current and Former Ravens Selected

It's been five years since the 2018 NFL draft, where the Ravens landed a handful of stars and starters. The draft produced an abundance of NFL talent, which led ESPN’s Matt Miller and Jordan Reid to conduct a re-draft in which five current and former Ravens are selected.

No. 2 – New York Giants: Lamar Jackson, QB

"A debate raged before the 2018 draft about whether the Giants should draft a quarterback. Ultimately, they did not, opting to take Barkley to boost their offense," Miller wrote. "But I made the easy choice to instead take the 2019 unanimous NFL MVP in Jackson. He is the most electric quarterback in the game -- he leads the league in quarterback rush yards since 2018 (4,435) -- and would have been unstoppable in current coach Brian Daboll's offense."

The only player picked above Jackson in this re-draft is quarterback Josh Allen, who goes to the Cleveland Browns at No. 1 overall.

No. 13 – Washington Commanders: Roquan Smith, LB

"Washington hit a home run with their original selection of Payne," Reid wrote. "But he's off the board here, and there were massive questions about the middle of the team's defense that can now be addressed. Smith gives the Commanders a centerpiece to their defense. He is a see, read and react linebacker with plenty of physicality as a tackler. He has 692 tackles since 2018, which trails just Bobby Wagner over that span. But Smith is also the only player in the top 10 in tackles who also has at least 15 sacks (18.5)."

Fun Reminder: The Ravens landed Smith for a second-round pick and have him under contract through 2027.

No. 16 – Baltimore Ravens: Orlando Brown Jr., OT

"The Ravens eventually got this right selecting Brown in the third round, but we're not waiting around to find out how far he'd fall in a re-draft," Miller wrote. "Brown is a top-10 left tackle, as the four-time Pro Bowler posted a 91.8% pass block win rate last season. While Baltimore has Ronnie Stanley on the left side, we're willing to roll the dice on Brown and Baltimore getting along better this time."

A bit of a curious selection here seeing as tight end Mark Andrews is still available and he's become one of the best at his position and remained in Baltimore with a contract extension in 2021. It's a bit striking to see how long it takes until Andrews is taken in the re-draft, too.

No. 27 – New Orleans Saints: Mark Andrews, TE

"Since Jimmy Graham first left New Orleans (before returning this offseason), the Saints have had a huge need at tight end," Reid wrote. "Andrews seems to improve every season despite facing medical questions during the pre-draft process; he is a Type-1 diabetic, and some worried about his long-term playing outlook. But he has become one of the best tight ends in the league -- he had 1,361 receiving yards in 2021 -- and likely would have produced even greater results in a Sean Payton-led offense during the early stages of his career."

Does the fit make sense? Absolutely. But it's hard to agree that there are 26 players ahead of Andrews in his draft class.

The final Raven taken in the redraft is center Bradley Bozeman at No. 57 overall, far higher than where the Ravens nabbed the Alabama center with the No. 215-overall pick.

Offensive Line Cohesion Will Benefit Baltimore

A season ago, the Ravens' offensive line was in flux. Health was uncertain with left tackle Ronnie Stanley, new faces arrived at left guard (Ben Powers), center (rookie Tyler Linderbaum) and right tackle (Morgan Moses). Things eventually meshed with the return of Stanley and chemistry developed between the five-man unit.

Now, a year later, there's cohesion among the group with four incumbent starters. And while there may be questions about adjusting to a new coordinator or the once-again undetermined starting left guard spot, The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker writes "the reasons for optimism outnumber these nagging questions."

"Stanley is enjoying his first normal training camp since 2020 and talking about regaining his All-Pro form from 2019," Walker wrote. "Linderbaum is a more assured on-field commander and capable of pushing for a Pro Bowl berth as soon as this year. Zeitler and Moses are the epitome of trustworthy starters."

Walker notes the group all enters healthy which will be advantageous for the team.

"This year, all the team's potential starting linemen are healthy, meaning they will have ample time to build the group coordination essential to high-level play," Walker wrote.

Along with the group working to be one, there's added confidence in Linderbaum who looks to take on a greater role.

"Linderbaum will be the voice and the eyes of the coaches on the field, a role he's better prepared for in his second season, though he was an unusually mature rookie," Walker wrote.

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